Extended Mind Thesis



I feel like Paul and I talked about this at some point?

Anyway, people might find it interesting:

The Extended Mind - David Chalmers

Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? The question invites two standard replies. Some accept the demarcations of skin and skull, and say that what is outside the body is outside the mind. Others are impressed by arguments suggesting that the meaning of our words "just ain't in the head", and hold that this externalism about meaning carries over into an externalism about mind. We propose to pursue a third position. We advocate a very different sort of externalism: an active externalism, based on the active role of the environment in driving cognitive processes.
Criticism by Fodor

Just the sort of quibble you’d expect from a philosopher. Why don’t you guys loosen up a little? No wonder you’re so badly paid.’ Or, as Chalmers puts it: ‘The proponent of the extended mind should not be afraid of a little revisionism. Even if commonsense psychology marks a distinction here, the question still arises of whether this is an important distinction that ought to be marked in this way.’ Fair enough; in fact, right on. But the worry isn’t that a sophisticated psychology may require us to say things that sound funny. It’s that the stuff about parts of minds and the locations of the parts is all that Clark/Chalmers tell us about what, exactly, the EMT asserts. I suppose they think they could make sense of such talk if they were seriously challenged; but I don’t know how, and Clark/Chalmers aren’t telling. EMT isn’t literally true unless Chalmers’s iPhone is literally an (external) part of his mind; ‘literally’ is among Clark/Chalmers’s favourite adverbs. If minds don’t literally have parts, how can cognitive science literally endorse the claim that they do? That Juliet is the sun is, perhaps, figuratively true; but since it is only figuratively true, it’s of no astronomical interest.
Commentary by Feser

Or, to put the point another way (and perhaps a way Lockwood would not put it himself) if one regards external objects mechanistically, as devoid of final causes or intelligible natures or essences, then they will be as inherently devoid of meaning or intelligibility when you “tuck them up in bed” with the mind as they were when conceived of as external to the mind.