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.


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