Friday, July 10, 2009
Clark on Coupling-Constitution & Corporeal Consciousness
At the (very enjoyable) Metaphysics of Consciousness conference this past week at Edinburgh, Andy Clark gave a great talk, “Locating the Conscious Mind.” In it, he presented an interesting challenge to the thesis of the extended conscious mind (TXCM). Most striking to me was Clark’s willingness to invoke, first, something like a distinction between causation and constitution and, second, something like a “mark of the conscious”. This is a great development (from my perspective), since they are the kinds of ideas Adams and I have been pushing. It also represents a break from the kind of party line denial of the plausibility of a causation-constitution distinction one typically finds in the extended cognition literature. Clark also appreciates how these developments make his earlier views on extended cognition a bit less secure. (More good news from my perspective.) Alas, I was chairing the session, so I did not get to press Clark on these matters. But, readers of this blog will want to keep an eye out for Clark’s paper.