According to a model of the mind theorised by post-classical cognitive science, mental processes are embodied and distributed examples of cognitive processing. Body and environment contribute to the achievement of our cognitive tasks in such a fluid and integrated way that they can be considered bona fide parts of cognitive agents. According to the extended model of cognition, the “mind” lies at least in part outside the body. What makes a piece of information cognitively relevant is the role it plays, and nothing prevents this role from being played by an external item. In turn, the extended model of cognition leads to an extended model of subjectivity, according to which the subject “is spread into the world”, The aim of this chapter is to compare the extended mind with the personal mind. The personal mind is the kind of mind we attribute to (human) persons, by means of folk psychological intentional language. In the following pages, I argue that mere causal-informational connections, which characterise a cognitive system in the extended mind paradigm, are not sufficient to explain the peculiar kind of unity, which is essential to our notion of personhood and subjectivity. The unity of subjective space cannot be explained by means of the causal processes which constitute the extended mind. Those processes, in fact, are blind to the boundaries between inner and environmental processes. If we want a slogan: we may have extended cognition, but there are no extended subjects. And in order to be able to explain this fact, we need the concept of personal mind.

Extended cognition and the unity of mind. Why we are not “spread into the world”

DI FRANCESCO M
2007

Abstract

According to a model of the mind theorised by post-classical cognitive science, mental processes are embodied and distributed examples of cognitive processing. Body and environment contribute to the achievement of our cognitive tasks in such a fluid and integrated way that they can be considered bona fide parts of cognitive agents. According to the extended model of cognition, the “mind” lies at least in part outside the body. What makes a piece of information cognitively relevant is the role it plays, and nothing prevents this role from being played by an external item. In turn, the extended model of cognition leads to an extended model of subjectivity, according to which the subject “is spread into the world”, The aim of this chapter is to compare the extended mind with the personal mind. The personal mind is the kind of mind we attribute to (human) persons, by means of folk psychological intentional language. In the following pages, I argue that mere causal-informational connections, which characterise a cognitive system in the extended mind paradigm, are not sufficient to explain the peculiar kind of unity, which is essential to our notion of personhood and subjectivity. The unity of subjective space cannot be explained by means of the causal processes which constitute the extended mind. Those processes, in fact, are blind to the boundaries between inner and environmental processes. If we want a slogan: we may have extended cognition, but there are no extended subjects. And in order to be able to explain this fact, we need the concept of personal mind.
9789048173709
Extended Mind; Self; Personal Mind
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12076/1259
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