The Extended Mind Thesis and Its Applications
A growing number of researchers claim that our traditional views about what cognitive processes are and where they take place must be revised. According to these researchers, the cognitive processes that make up our minds can reach beyond the traditionally conceived boundaries of individual organisms to include as proper parts aspects of the organism’s physical, technological, and socio-cultural environment. This idea is known as the Extended Mind Thesis (EMT). In recent years a fruitful debate about the scope and validity of EMT has emerged both within the empirical sciences (e.g. psychology and neuroscience) and in the philosophy of mind. The goal of this chapter is to investigate the empirical support for EMT by clarifying the extent to which researchers in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience in their everyday work and practice already implicitly assume extended cognition ideas or even actively operate with them.