The metaphysics of the Extended Mind in ontological entanglements<sup>1</sup>

Anna Marmodoro

in The Metaphysics of the Incarnation

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199583164
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725647 | DOI:
The metaphysics of the Extended Mind in ontological entanglements1

Show Summary Details


The human mind often relies on external mechanisms for carrying out its cognitive processes, for example by using a calculator. Vehicle externalism and in particular the Extended Mind theory (Clark and Chalmers 1998) explore whether such external mechanisms, under specified conditions, are more than mere instruments for the mind; the claim is that they are parts of the mind and thus extend it beyond its outer boundaries of skin and skull. This chapter argues that high degrees of interdependence between the mind and its extensions give rise to ontological entanglements, with respect to which there is at present no theory of individuation which can tell us how many entities there are in the entanglement and what type of entity the entanglement is. The chapter argues that the Extended Mind theory sheds light on the problem of the incarnation by motivating, in a more intuitively compelling way, the need for new ways of thinking about oneness and distinctness. The problems we encounter with the metaphysics of the incarnation are not peculiar to it; the solutions might not be either.

Keywords: Extended Mind theory; externalism; entanglement; ontological dependence; individuation; extension; constitution; natural kinds; Kripkean essentialism; David Chalmers; Andy Clark

Chapter.  10293 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.