Neuroenhancement and the Extended Mind Hypothesis

Now consider a question: is this information part of your mind? Does it form part of an extended mind loop, one that interfaces with and augments the mental processors inside your skull? According to some philosophers it does. They believe in something called the extended mind hypothesis, which goes against the neuro-physicalist wisdom and holds that the mind is not necessarily to be identified with the brain. On the contrary, they suggest that humans are natural-born cyborgs, constantly expanding their minds into their external environments.

This is an intriguing hypothesis, and one that has been much-debated in the philosophy of mind. But does it have any ethical implications? If your mind extends into the external environment, wouldn’t we be obliged to treat anything that forms part of your extended mind loop in accordance with the ethical principles that are usually thought to apply to the treatment of any part of one’s non-extended mind? In other words, shouldn’t we adopt a parity-stance when it comes to the treatment of the internal and external mind?

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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