Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive

Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension ❮EPUB❯ ✰ Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension Author Andy Clark – Thomashillier.co.uk When historian Charles Weiner found pages of Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman s notes, he saw it as a record of Feynman s work Feynman himself, however, insisted that the notes were not a When historian Charles Weiner found pages Mind: Embodiment, PDF ☆ of Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman s notes, he saw it as a record of Feynman s work Feynman himself, however, insisted that the notes were not a record but the work itself In Supersizing the Mind, Andy Clark argues that our thinking doesn t happen only in our heads but that certain forms of human cognizing include inextricable tangles of feedback, feed forward and feed around Supersizing the Kindle - loops loops that promiscuously criss cross the boundaries of brain, body and world The pen and paper of Feynman s thought are just such feedback loops, physical machinery that shape the flow of thought and enlarge the boundaries of mind Drawing upon recent work in psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, robotics, human computer systems, and beyond, Supersizing the Mind offers both a tour of the emerging cognitive landscape and a sustained argument in favor of the Mind: Embodiment, MOBI ☆ a conception of mind that is extended rather than brain bound The importance of this new perspective is profound If our minds themselves can include aspects of our social and physical environments, then the kinds of social and physical environments we create can reconfigure our minds and our capacity for thought and reason.


About the Author: Andy Clark

Librarian Note There isthan one author Mind: Embodiment, PDF ☆ in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread forinformation.



10 thoughts on “Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension

  1. Kai Schreiber Kai Schreiber says:

    The hypothesis of the extended mind has fascinated me for the longest time, without me having any true grip on what it entails or what follows from it.Briefly, it states that external objects and processes are generally part of cognitive processing, and that the substrate of cognition potentially extends to anything the cognitive agent interacts with The famous example is Otto, who relies on his trusty notebook to such a degree and with such faith, that it effectively becomes onecerebral The hypothesis of the extended mind has fascinated me for the longest time, without me having any true grip on what it entails or what follows from it.Briefly, it states that external objects and processes are generally part of cognitive processing, and that the substrate of cognition potentially extends to anything the cognitive agent interacts with The famous example is Otto, who relies on his trusty notebook to such a degree and with such faith, that it effectively becomes onecerebral organ for him, albeit made of paper instead of neural goo.The general thrust of this idea, which is closely aligned with ideas of embodied cognition Embodied cognition supposes that mind is not incidentally produced by the brain from bodily sensory input, but that lots of mental states in a fuzzy and hard to define way are actually identical to states of the body.The extended mind takes that idea to extremes by including potentially any object Again, its a fascinating hypothesis, but I have been bugged for the longest time by one towering question that very roughly asks so what I fail to see any practical or, for that matter, theoretical consequences of this And the oft used imagery of mental substance spread out, reaching soft tendrils into the world to use it for thinking is misguided Where there is no mental substance, it can not be spread kind of like Nutella when you don t have any And actually, this inverse reading might be what I take away from this If analysis reveals that the assumption that your hippocampus is a substrate of mind produces the conclusion that your notebook and your pocket calculator may be, too, then something might be wrong with the original idea that it is useful to talk about something called the mind, and that this something has a substrate.For illustration is it useful to think of the road as part of the substrate of driving And how is this different from saying that driving is something the car does, but it needs a certain environment roads to do it Likewise, mind is something the brain does in concert with the environment, not some object that stretches like a rubber blanket.But those are my two cents Read yourself


  2. Bryan Kibbe Bryan Kibbe says:

    Increasingly I find myself a defender of some version of the extended mind thesis generally put, our minds are not brainbound, or even bodybound, but arise from the dynamic, soft assemblies of brain, body and world Much of my thinking on the topic has been shaped by Andy Clark, who stands out as one of the leading thinkers and defenders of this kind of approach to the philosophy of mind His most recent book, Supersizing the Mind, continues to deepen my convictions While this book recapitula Increasingly I find myself a defender of some version of the extended mind thesis generally put, our minds are not brainbound, or even bodybound, but arise from the dynamic, soft assemblies of brain, body and world Much of my thinking on the topic has been shaped by Andy Clark, who stands out as one of the leading thinkers and defenders of this kind of approach to the philosophy of mind His most recent book, Supersizing the Mind, continues to deepen my convictions While this book recapitulates many of the themes found throughout Clark s body of work, it also introduces important engagements with various critics, and represents a careful effort to draw work on embodied cognition and the use of external cognitive props into the mainstream of the philosophy of mind Aside from a rich tour of references to recent work in the cognitive sciences, Clark simply but profoundly argues for the questioning of the traditional boundaries of the mind Irrespective of whether the extended mind thesis is ultimately proven true, Clark s lasting contribution, which is a central task of this book, is to at least make the very question of mind extension legitimate Such an effort should be commended For those with some background in the philosophy of mind and or cognitive sciences this is a book worth attending to and considering Clark is a remarkable scholar of diverse fields, and an expert of synthesis and subtle distinctions That said, his vocabulary is highly technical in various parts, which will prove difficult to the uninitiated For aaccessible engagement with Clark, I might recommend his equally interesting, though less technical, book, Natural Born Cyborgs


  3. Krishna Krishna says:

    Are cognitive processes confined to occur within the limits of the biological brain, or can resources recruited from the body or even from the extended environment be combined with neural capabilities to create an extended mind This is the challenging question that psychologist neuroscientist metaphysician Andy Clark asks in this book The answer brings up futurist scenarios in which implantable chips or distributed computing resources can be recruited as aids to memory or cognitive process Are cognitive processes confined to occur within the limits of the biological brain, or can resources recruited from the body or even from the extended environment be combined with neural capabilities to create an extended mind This is the challenging question that psychologist neuroscientist metaphysician Andy Clark asks in this book The answer brings up futurist scenarios in which implantable chips or distributed computing resources can be recruited as aids to memory or cognitive processing But fascinatingly, Clark also shows how the embedded mind is not just a futurist potential, but is also exemplified by current, everyday practices.The main takeaway from the book is a challenge to the notion that non neural resources should not be considered part of cognition, just because they are external to the brain Instead, Clark puts forward the parity principle if part of the world functions as a process which, if it took place in the mind, we will not hesitate to accept as a cognitive process, then that part of the world, for the time that it functions in that manner, is part of cognition The example Clark uses is from the game of Tetris, where physically rotating an object on screen is a substitute for rotating it within the mind, and therefore the physical movements of fingers in rotation should be considered a cognitive process Here, Clark is challenging the air tight boundary between epistemic and pragmatic actions epistemic actions are those intended to uncover information in the environment, while physical actions bring an agent closer to a goal Clark points to physical actions that make computation easier, or aid internal memory to break down this barrier He introduces the hypothesis of cognitive impartiality, the idea that brains are indifferent between internal and external resources, and choose the most effective and efficient combination of mental, bodily and environmental resources to achieve specific cognitive tasks Even within the brain, says Clark, there are many semi autonomous resources that perform different functions pattern recognition, memory, spatial , which are recruited in transient coalitions to accomplish different tasks These might be combined with external resources in opportunistic and efficient ways I nteracting parts of a distributed, semi anarchic cognitive engine, participating in cognitively potent, self stimulating loops whose activity is as much an aspect of our thinking as its result p 133 But is there a stillfundamental level where there is a coherent agent a CEO of the brain who recruits these coalitions of external and internal resources, as and when required Clark denies this There is no central executive, there is instead a fragmented and distributed flow of information over and between temporarily assembled structures of neural, bodily and world elements Mind is an emergent property There is a lotcovered in this book, which is really an extended engagement with an entire emergent literature on embodied cognition It introduces and summarizes several concepts and theoretical propositions in the field To name only a few the principle of ecological balance, which says agents use the potential of their body s physical capabilities enhanced by just in time sensory motor neural adjustments, to achieve efficient locomotion e.g. passive dynamic automata The principle of ecological assembly agents do not create preserve full models of their environment, but use efficient combinations of sensory motor neural capabilities to retrieve information just when needed e.g saccades of eye movements to compare elements of a scene, such as in the children s puzzle, find 10 differences Multimodal sensory stimulation agents with multiple senses create parallel time coded streams of sensory information, that allow learning of the outcomes of each action Perceptual sensorimotor dependency Agents correlate the input from movements and sensory perception to make sense of the world e.g., tilting the head to obtain a better sense of the shape of objects.Ultimately, Clark s vision of the mind is a challenge to the duality of mind and matter Can a mind exist without a physical apparatus, or can a mind that only exists as neural circuitry realize its full potential Clark argues that our identity as embodied minds is simultaneously an extension and a restriction If the mind is expanded to include the body and in a sense the environment, it is also a limitation of the mind to a specific physical configuration Embodiment vastly restricts the space of minds like ours, tying human thought and reason inextricably and non trivially to the details of the human bodily form p 204 But Clark also argues that, even if the body limits the mind, it does not imply that only one configuration of body can lead to a mind like ours downstream processing can create same perceptions as ours Configurations may differ, but a mind like ours can function only if it is embodied A final quote a metaphysical one We are thinking beings, whose nature qua thinking beings is not accidentally but profoundly and continuously informed by our existence as physically embodied, and as socially and technologically embedded organisms p 217


  4. Gavin Gavin says:

    As difficult as this book was to read for a non scholar, such as myself , it presents extremely potent models that are rarely expounded elsewhere I reference this text frequently in my job as a technology designer.


  5. Paul Paul says:

    Clark builds on the 1998 extended mind thesis, incorporating additional evidence of the role of the body and external environment in cognitive processing Clark stresses that this view doesn t discount traditional representation based, internalist views of cognition, only widens the net to include the brain working in soft assembled partnership with the external world.I struggled a bit with the later chapters which focus on addressing criticism of the extended mind approach and at times felt Clark builds on the 1998 extended mind thesis, incorporating additional evidence of the role of the body and external environment in cognitive processing Clark stresses that this view doesn t discount traditional representation based, internalist views of cognition, only widens the net to include the brain working in soft assembled partnership with the external world.I struggled a bit with the later chapters which focus on addressing criticism of the extended mind approach and at times felt that there was some unproductive hair splitting and language games going on, though by and large Clark is certainly systematic and seems to be very careful with his own choice of words.The overall approach is that Clark is seeking a synthesis between brainbound views and radical embodied cognition, and I think he largely succeeds in finding the sweet spot


  6. Nikki Olson Nikki Olson says:

    Interesting but ultimately faulty epistemology.


  7. Josh Mastan Josh Mastan says:

    I really enjoyed this book It takes aapplied account of biomechanics at least in part and integrates it with theoretical cognitive science I do think, though, that it could have done a better job of providing acoherent conclusion it felt at times that everything Clark lays out isso a polished summary of all of the topics he s covered in his papers which have been significant contributions to embodied cognition, taking nothing away from the quality of the topics apart from I really enjoyed this book It takes aapplied account of biomechanics at least in part and integrates it with theoretical cognitive science I do think, though, that it could have done a better job of providing acoherent conclusion it felt at times that everything Clark lays out isso a polished summary of all of the topics he s covered in his papers which have been significant contributions to embodied cognition, taking nothing away from the quality of the topics apart from their final integration Of course, I m just being picky Supersizing the Mind is nevertheless a necessary introduction to the extended mind hypothesis I say necessary because most other works have been formulated off of the ideas mentioned in Clark s books, affording some scope to a sub topic under the philosophy of cognitive science that, given its famously interdisciplinary content, already takes some time to establish the parameters of its internal logic If you re interest in philosophical anthropology, philosophy of mind, psychology, philosophy of cognitive science, or phenomenology, then this book should be on your shelf and if not this book on your shelf, then Clark s papers in a folder on your desktop.P.S I was looking forward to somediscussion on Dynamical Systems Theory DST , a theoretical framework he made famous within the realm of philosophy of cognitive science back in the late 90 s He mentions it somewhere in the first few chapters, but there s little focus on it So, yeah


  8. Brian Tracz Brian Tracz says:

    This book was both a good summary of Clark s views and an enlightening read In sum, Clark argues that our Brainbound view of cognition the idea that the cognition and computation are realised by the brain alone should be supplanted by the Extended view the idea that memory, language, and thinking are, in an important sense, not confined to brain states.The obvious companion to this book, and one that one should read beforehand, is Alva No s Action in Perception 2004 , which pre This book was both a good summary of Clark s views and an enlightening read In sum, Clark argues that our Brainbound view of cognition the idea that the cognition and computation are realised by the brain alone should be supplanted by the Extended view the idea that memory, language, and thinking are, in an important sense, not confined to brain states.The obvious companion to this book, and one that one should read beforehand, is Alva No s Action in Perception 2004 , which presents aradical view that our perceptual states simply are various sensory motor dependencies Perception is something we do , he says Clark criticises the particulars of this view, while agreeing with its overall anti qualia spirit I found this to be a particularly interesting part of the book.In general, the book does not present anything wildly new from Clark s stated views, so some of the book might be a bit slow for a specialist However, the ideas presented are both subtle and deep, so this is a great entryway into the enactive externalism literature


  9. Steven Steven says:

    I m a big fan of Clark s work see also Being There This book aims to reroute mind brain cognition through the pathways of mind body world Looking beyond the neural mind towards a greater ecology of mind, Clark s book not only culls some fascinating studies on embodied intelligence from A.I research to everyday gesticulation , but asks important philosophical questions about the making of social worlds Why does it matter that the mind is extended It matters because the worlds we create I m a big fan of Clark s work see also Being There This book aims to reroute mind brain cognition through the pathways of mind body world Looking beyond the neural mind towards a greater ecology of mind, Clark s book not only culls some fascinating studies on embodied intelligence from A.I research to everyday gesticulation , but asks important philosophical questions about the making of social worlds Why does it matter that the mind is extended It matters because the worlds we create or conversely, destroy are in the loop of our mental functioning I m only half way through this book but I am thorough engaged, excited, wowed


  10. Robin Robin says:

    This is a challenging read I find myself wanting to accept Clark s proposition far too readily, exposing my bias for the appeal of cognitive extension He is muchloyal to science than I His approach to the debate on embodiment is structured, informing and responsible For those who are in the predicament of explaining our way in the world , this may offer you some interesting insights.


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