Extended Mind Hypothesis

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Functionalism and the extended mind hypothesis
Philosophy of mind, is a topic which studies the different aspects in understanding how the mind works. One of the main questions for philosophy of mind, is how the physical (in this case the brain) interacts with the mental (the mind). When addressing the questions of how the mind and body interact with each other, and in what ways the mind works in general, there are many different propositions put forward to explain the interaction. Some of these arguments have very different outlooks on how this interaction takes place, and how the mind works. Whether everything is at the physical level, where mental states fit into everything, and what defines mental states are just some of the questions
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This could be anything which can aid someone in the tasks that their mind would normally do, and even things that they would not be able to do, without the external influence. As functionalism states “what determines whether a given material state realizes a given mental state is whether it plays the relevant functional role” (Michaelian, 2016), means the extended mind hypothesis makes sense alongside functionalism. The extended mind hypothesis is concerned with two main areas. This is extended cognition and using external factors for other functions of the mind, such as storage. When the extended mind hypothesis speaks in terms of cognition, it refers to external factors aiding in cognitive processes, or even providing a cognitive process which would not be available when only having access to the inside of your skull. An example of this, may be the use of paper when doing maths equations. When calculating complex maths equations, people often use paper to aid the solving of the problem. Complex equations would not be able to be solved without using this external factor. A different example (which is used by Andy Clark and David Chalmers) is playing the game Tetris. In this game, the user is required to rotate shapes, and fit them into a grid, as neatly as …show more content…
Functionalism and the extended mind hypothesis do seem to be compatible and work together. The problem here is that we intuitively know that the extended mind hypothesis is not correct, but with our current definition of the mind, and how we think about it, there are no obvious issues with this theory alongside functionalism. We know that the mind is connected to the brain, because when the brain is damaged or enhanced, so is the function of the mind. These facts mean that the extended mind hypothesis cannot be correct because to think of things outside of our skull as our mind is intuitively wrong. The extended mind hypothesis’s compatibility with functionalism suggests that the way that we think of the mind is incorrect, and that our definition of the mind should be changed (Michaelian,

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