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Ideas of A Clark / D Chalmers, by Text

[, fl. 1998, Professors at Washington and Indiana.]

1998 The Extended Mind
p.160 A mechanism can count as 'cognitive' whether it is in the brain or outside it
     Full Idea: If the operation of a brain implant inside the brain is a cognitive operation, why should it not count as a cognitive operation when it is outside the brain? There are many mechanisms which would count as cognitive if they were inside the subject.
     From: report of A Clark / D Chalmers (The Extended Mind [1998]) by Mark Rowlands - Externalism Ch.9
     A reaction: This argues for externalism of the vehicle of thought, rather than its content. The idea is that there is no significant difference between remembering a phone number and writing it on a bit of paper. I find it hard to disagree.
2 p.2 If something in the world could equally have been a mental process, it is part of our cognition
     Full Idea: If, as we confront some task, a part of the world functions as a process which, were it done in the head, we would have no hesitation in recognising as part of the cognitive process, then that part of the world is part of the cognitive process.
     From: A Clark / D Chalmers (The Extended Mind [1998], 2)
     A reaction: In some sense they are obviously right that our cognitive activities spill out into books, calculators, record-keeping. It seems more like an invitation to shift the meaning of the word 'mind', than a proof that we have got it wrong.
3 p.3 Consciousness may not extend beyond the head, but cognition need not be conscious
     Full Idea: Many identify the cognitive with the conscious, and it seems far from plausible that consciousness extends outside the head in these cases. But not every cognitive process, at least on standard usage, is a conscious process.
     From: A Clark / D Chalmers (The Extended Mind [1998], 3)
     A reaction: This gives you two sorts of externalism about mind to consider. No, three, if you say there is extended conceptual content, then extended cognition processes, then extended consciousness. Depends what you mean by 'consciousness'.
4 p.5 A notebook counts as memory, if is available to consciousness and guides our actions
     Full Idea: Beliefs are partly constituted by features of the environment. ....a notebook plays for one person the same role that memory plays for another. ...The information is reliably there, available to consciousness, and to guide action, just as belief is.
     From: A Clark / D Chalmers (The Extended Mind [1998], 4)
     A reaction: This is the modern externalist approach to beliefs (along with broad content and external cognition systems). Not quite what we used to mean by beliefs, but we'll get used to it. I believe Plato wrote what it said in his books. Is memory just a role?
5 p.8 If a person relies on their notes, those notes are parted of the extended system which is the person
     Full Idea: If Otto relies on his notebook, what this comes to is that Otto himself is best regarded as an extended system, a coupling of biological organism and external resources.
     From: A Clark / D Chalmers (The Extended Mind [1998], 5)
     A reaction: You start to get giddy as you read this stuff. If two people constantly share a notebook, they begin to blend into one another. It inclines me towards a more 'animalist' view of the nature of a person or a self.