Berlin Workshop with Shaun Gallagher and John Protevi
Philosophical approaches to the ‘extended mind’, most rigorously advocated in recent years by Andy Clark, centre around the idea that human mentality is constitutively dependent upon external structures functioning as indispensable “scaffolds” of cognitive processes. In particular, a broad range of tools such as computers, calculators, symbol systems as well as a host of external storage devices have been invoked as cognitive extensions. However, so far, neither the nature of more complex and distributed social structures, arrangements and institutions relevant to cognitive extensions, nor the domain of emotion has received sufficient attention.
Most theorizing within the ‘extended mind’ approach focuses on the causal coupling of an individual’s cognitive processes with narrowly circumscribed environmental items or structures. The broad contexts in which these tools themselves are enmeshed and on which their use and functioning often depend are not explored. Likewise, the institutional backgrounds and human communities, with their specific structures and arrangements in which individual cognizers at any time dwell, have not appeared on the radar of most scholars. Similary, although human emotions are constantly shaped, informed, channelled, and regulated by external structures of various kinds – for example by different media, works of art, arranged spaces, communal practices, technologies and certainly by language – ›extended emotion‹ has not been a topic of discussion. The workshop will address these lacunae in interrelated ways with the aim to extend ‘extended mind’ theory and give it a more realistic and theoretically well-founded outlook.
Speakers: Shaun Gallagher, John Protevi, Michele Merritt, Somogy Varga, Mason Cash, Hanne De Jaegher, Jan Slaby, Martin Hartmann, Christian von Scheve
Organiser: Jan Slaby