Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension

Paperback | January 1, 2011

byAndy Clark

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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 record but the work itself. In Supersizing the Mind, Andy Clark argues that our thinkingdoesn't happen only in our heads but that "certain forms of human cognizing include inextricable tangles of feedback, feed-forward and feed-around loops: loops that promiscuously criss-cross the boundaries of brain, body and world." The pen and paper of Feynman's thought are just such feedbackloops, 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 cognitivelandscape and a sustained argument in favor of 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 environmentswe create can reconfigure our minds and our capacity for thought and reason.

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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 record but the work itself. In Supersizing the Mind, Andy Clark argues that our thinkingdoesn't happen only in our heads but that "ce...

Andy Clark is Professor of Philosophy at Edinburgh University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:January 1, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199773688

ISBN - 13:9780199773688

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Table of Contents

David Chalmers: ForwardAcknowledgementsIntroduction: BRAINBOUND versus EXTENDEDI: From Embodiment to Cognitive Extension1. The Active Body2. The Negotiable Body3. Material Symbols4. World, IncorporatedII: Boundary Disputes5. Mind Re-bound?6. The Cure for Cognitive Hiccups (HEMC, HEC, HEMCL)7. Rediscovering the BrainIII: The Limits of Embodiment8. Painting, Planning, and Perceiving9. Disentangling Embodiment10. Conclusions: Mindsized BitesAndy Clark and David Chalmers: Appendix: The Extended Mind

Editorial Reviews

"In Supersizing the Mind, philosopher Andy Clark makes the compelling argument that the mind extends beyond the body to include the tools, symbols and other artefacts we deploy to engage the world.... Supersizing the Mind is a treat to read. It is brimming with remarkable ideas, novel insightsand amusing language." --Nature