The extended mind



Publication Details

Hutto, D. (2011). The extended mind. Analysis, 71 (4), 785-787.


The Extended Mind Hypothesis (EMH) made its public debut in the pages of Analysis in 1988, with the appearance of a landmark paper by Clark and Chalmers. They advanced the bold claim that some cognitive processing has an extent that is beyond the boundaries of the skin or the skull. Their claim differs from the still much disputed idea that the content of mental states must be individuated, at least in part, by external factors. With a different focus, the originators of EMH defend active externalism – the view which holds that the underlying cognitive processes that make certain mental happenings possible are, at least sometimes, not entirely brainbound. This kind of wide ranging cognition allegedly occurs when the use of external resources is unavoidable for enabling the completion of specific cognitive tasks.

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