The Mind-Expanding Ideas of Andy Clark

Where does the mind end and the world begin? Is the mind locked inside its skull, sealed in with skin, or does it expand outward, merging with things and places and other minds that it thinks with? What if there are objects outside—a pen and paper, a phone—that serve the same function as parts of the brain, enabling it to calculate or remember? You might say that those are obviously not part of the mind, because they aren’t in the head, but that would be to beg the question. So are they or aren’t they?

Andy Clark is a modern-day philosopher whose research interests include artificial intelligence, artificial life, and embodied cognition. His papers and books deal with the philosophy of mind. He is well known for defending the Extended Mind Hypothesis, which is accessibly outlined in this New Yorker Article. The Extended Mind Hypothesis posits that the tools that help us think may actually be part of thought itself.

You won’t regret this read. Do it now.

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