Title: What belongs to a mind?

Monday 10.30 to 12.00, RWTH Aachen

The boundaries of an individual mind – or rather of a mental subject – are controversial not only in philosophical tradition, but also in contemporary cognitive science. A common everyday intuition seems to be that the boundaries of an individual mind coincide with the boundaries of an individual organism. Alternative proposals have extended the individual mind, for example, by an immaterial substance beyond the individual body, limited it to a single organ – whether heart or brain – or even extended it with concrete tools such as notebooks. Starting from the philosophical tradition, the seminar will discuss current theories in the philosophy of the mind and cognitive sciences about the boundaries and the extension of the mind. One focus will be on different situated cognition theories.


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Clark, A., & Chalmers, D. (1998). The extended mind (Active externalism). Analysis, 58(1), 7-19.

Descartes R. (1984–1991) The philosophical writings of descartes, vol 3 with Anthony Kenny (trans: Cottingham J, Stoothoff R, Murdoch D). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Heersmink, R. (2015). Dimensions of integration in embedded and extended cognitive systems. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 14(3)