Elisabetta Gola

Mind as Non-Trivial Machine: Cognitive Processes Crossing Skin Boundaries

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Mind, epistemology, causality, cybernetics, education.

The skin, even more than the skull, biases the assessments about what is human or not, what is smart or not, both in common sense and in science. The extended mind hypothesis represents a challenge to the perspective that considers the mind as an object enclosed inside the brain. However, it runs into some controversial arguments. In this comment we argue that the main problems of the idea that the cognitive processes are in place in a space wider than our body (including neural networks, environmental settings, cognitive tools, etc.) result from the idea of mind as a trivial machine. This strong and implicit assumption assumes that cognitive processes are driven by linear causality, while living organism are usually non-trivial systems, in which the cause-effect relationships are circular in nature. Changing the epistemological frame can bring us to change our view about how the future of human intelligence can evolve.

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