Extended Mind Workshop (Rowlands, Roberts & Toon)

As part of the Research Seminar Series, on April 13th we will have a workshop on the concept of the Extended Mind, drawing in ideas across philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. We have great speakers for this event, so not to be missed!


This event is in Room 1.19, John Percival Building (NOTE ROOM CHANGE), on Wednesday April 13th.


2.00-3.10pm Mark Rowlands ‘Rilkean memory’

3.10-4.20 Tom Roberts ‘Extended mental state attributions’

4.20-4.30 Break

4.30-5.40 Adam Toon ‘Science and the extended mind’



Mark Rowlands (Miami)

Title: Rilkean Memory

Abstract: This paper identifies a form of remembering sufficiently overlooked that it has not yet been dignified with a name. I shall christen it Rilkean Memory. This form of memory is – at least typically – thoroughly embodied and/or embedded. Rilkean memory is a form of involuntary, autobiographical memory that is neither implicit nor explicit, neither declarative nor procedural, neither episodic nor semantic, and not Freudian. I shall argue that admitting Rilkean memory into our ontology points us in the direction of a very different conception of both the mind and the person.


Tom Roberts (Exeter)

Title: Extended Mental State Attributions

Abstract: Recent versions of the extended mind theory have added a historical criterion to the list of conditions that must be satisfied by a representational resource if it is to be counted among the constituents of an agent’s mind: not only must the resource play a suitable functional role in the agent’s cognitive economy, it must also have a certain causal history. This paper examines some epistemic challenges, raised by this historical criterion, that emerge when we attempt to attribute extended mental states both to others and to ourselves. Self-attributions of extended states are shown to lack the first-person privileges traditionally associated with introspective access, including immunity to error through misidentification.


Adam Toon (Exeter)

Title: Science and the Extended Mind

Abstract: We typically think of cognition as something that happens inside the head. Recently, a number of philosophers of mind and cognitive science have argued that this is a mistake. In fact, according to the extended mind thesis, cognition and mind sometimes extend beyond brain and body into the world. This talk will consider the implications of the extended mind thesis for philosophy of science. I will argue that these implications are far-reaching. In particular, I will show that the notion of extended cognition has important consequences for our view of the nature of scientific concepts, scientific understanding, and debates between realists and empiricists concerning the role of instruments in the creation of scientific knowledge.


Beatrice Han-Pile (Essex) ‘Hope and Agency’

The next research seminar is on Wednesday March 16th, where Beatrice Han-Pile will be speaking on ‘Hope and Agency’. Usual time and place of 4.15-5.45pm in Room 0.02, John Percival Building.

Abstract: What has become known as the ‘orthodox’ definition of hope (OD) defines the latter as follows: ‘A hopes that p if and only if (1) A desires (or wishes for) p and (2) A assigns to p a degree of probability between (and excluding) 0 and 1’. Recent critics have accepted the OD but deemed it insufficient to account for strong hope, and thus proposed further conditions. I identify the underlying problem, namely the ‘Low Probability Assignment Problem’ (LPAP), and draw out the implications of the OD for the agential structure of hope. I argue that two of the most influential accounts (Pettit’s and Martin’s) fail to provide a fix to the LPAP because they rely on an overly cognitivist and voluntarist conception of the agency involved in hope, a conception which is both untrue to hope as a phenomenon and incompatible with the agential implications of the OD they try to build upon. Finally, I clear the way for an alternative fix to the LPAP by exploring the minimum conditions on agency which would make an alternative solution both compatible with the OD and true to the phenomenon of hope. Building on previous work, I refer to this kind of agency as ‘medio-passive’ and outline some of the ways it is played out in hope.

A-level Conference: Developing Originality in Epistemology

A-level students are invited to an epistemology conference, with speakers from Cardiff University, aimed at developing new ways to engage with the A-level syllabus. Travel subsidies are available. It is on Wednesday 20th April, 1pm – 5pm, at Cardiff University.

If you’re interested, please email Jonathan Webber: webberj1@cardiff.ac.uk


Locke and the Variety of Secondary Qualities
Dr Richard Gray

Innate or Empirical: A False Dichotomy?
Dr Liz Irvine

Illusions and Affordances in Perception
Professor Alessandra Tanesini

Why Do a Degree in Philosophy?
Dr Jonathan Webber