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Department of Philosophy

Forthcoming Research Seminars and Lectures

(For past seminars and lectures see here)

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20th June 2013: Mark Sprevak (Edinburgh) - Is the extended mind hypothesis nonsensical?

(11 July 2012)

Weekly Research Seminar

This seminar will be held in room 005, 48/49 Old Elvet, Durham. 
Refreshments will be served from 11am with the talk commencing at 11.30am.

Title: Is the extended mind hypothesis nonsensical?



The extended mind hypothesis (EM) claims that some of our mental states/processes extend outside our heads and into objects in our environment, such as notebooks and iPhones. The existing debate concerning EM has focused on questions of justification concerning EM:

whether we should believe that EM is true or false based on current evidence. This paper takes a step back and focuses on a prior question:

what does it even mean to say that mental states/processes "extend" into physical objects? Some theorists doubt that a good answer can be provided; they have concluded that EM is not a genuine statement of fact. In this paper, I look at four responses that attempt to make sense of EM. I argue only one proposal---based on the realisation relation---has a chance of success. The realisation-relation proposal, however, has significant, and unanticipated, revisionary consequences for EM.


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