Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Welcome to the Extended Cognition Blog. (I’ve racked my mind, extending it beyond all recognition, trying to come up with a more clever title. Nothing happened. Suggestions are welcome!)

This is a blog dedicated to discussion of the hypothesis of the Extended Mind.

The basic idea concerning the Extended Mind is this: Some of our thinking is done outside the head—indeed, outside the body.

A classic example, from Chalmers and Clark’s “The Extended Mind,” is Otto, who has a degenerative disorder which affects his memory. To make up for this, he writes down everything he learns in a notebook, and always consults his notebook in order to bring these things back to his mind. If he needs to know where the museum is, he looks in his notebook, where previously he had written “The museum is on 53rd street.” Chalmers and Clark argue that by doing this, Otto is remembering where the museum is. If remembering is a kind of thinking, then Otto’s activities with the notebook, taking place as they do externally to his body, are nevertheless part of his thinking.

I’ve got a few things to say about the hypothesis, and I’ll be posting them in the next few days or weeks in order to kick of discussion. I will be inviting others who work in this area to also join the blog as authors, and post their own current thoughts. The blog is supposed to act as an informal forum for discussing ideas about the Extended Mind. This is both for the edification of readers of and authors on the blog, and also just for the development of the ideas themselves.
Welcome once again to the blog. Please enjoy!


  1. I look forward to figuring out what you do all day : )

  2. Tester McTestersonMay 10, 2009 at 6:30 AM

    This is a test of the commenting process.