The extended self: Architecture, memes and minds by Chris AbelThe extended self: Architecture, memes and minds by Chris Abel

The extended self: Architecture, memes and minds

byChris Abel

Paperback | February 1, 2015

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Despite local and international efforts promoting sustainable development and design, little progress has been made in reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases and averting catastrophic climate change. In his wide-ranging study of architecture and cultural evolution, the author contendsthat, underlying the inertia is a general resistance to changing personal and social identities shaped by a technological culture and its energy-hungry products. The book traces the roots of that culture to the coevolution of Homo sapiens and technology, from the first use of tools as artificial extensions of the human body, to the motorised cities spreading around the world, whose uncontrolled effects are fast changing the planet, and latterly, theInternet, with its own radical impacts. Advancing a new concept of the meme, called the "technical meme", as the primary agent of cognitive extension and technical embodiment, the author proposes a theory of the "extended self" as a complex and diffuse outcome of that coevolution. Challengingconventional ideas of the self as a separate and autonomous being, the extended self, he argues, encompasses material and spatial as well as psychological and social elements, including the built environment and artifacts, and now reaches out into the virtual worlds of cyberspace. Drawing upon research into extended cognition and embodied minds from philosophy, psychology and the neurosciences, together with other relevant fields of knowledge, the book presents a new approach to environmental and cultural studies. Written in a clear and engaging manner, it will also appeal tothe general reader searching for insights into the most pressing issues of our time.
Chris Abel is an independent scholar and a member of the International Committee of Architectural Critics (ICAC).
Title:The extended self: Architecture, memes and mindsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:February 1, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:071909612X

ISBN - 13:9780719096129

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Table of Contents

1. The Common Bond
2. The Body Nucleus
3. Embodied Minds
4. Technics and the Human
5. Rethinking Evolution
6. From Genes to Memes
7. Types and Taxonomies
8. Technical Memes and Assemblages
9. Combinatorial Design
10. Recasting the Extended Self
11. Appropriating Cyberspace

Editorial Reviews

"...a must read for anyone trying to keep up with the rapidly expanding discussion of the extended self. More than anyone else just now, Abel gathers together the threads of competing and complimentary theories." --Steve King On Architecture Blog