The Parity Argument for Extended Consciousness

Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (3-4):16-33 (2015)
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Abstract

Andy Clark and David Chalmers (1998) argue that certain mental states and processes can be partially constituted by objects located beyond one’s brain and body: this is their extended mind thesis (EM). But they maintain that consciousness relies on processing that is too high in speed and bandwidth to be realized outside the body (see Chalmers, 2008, and Clark, 2009). I evaluate Clark’s and Chalmers’ reason for denying that consciousness extends while still supporting unconscious state extension. I argue that their reason is not well grounded and does not hold up against foreseeable advances in technology. I conclude that their current position needs re-evaluation. If their original parity argument works as a defence of EM, they have yet to identify a good reason why it does not also work as a defence of extended consciousness. I end by advancing a parity argument for extended consciousness and consider some possible replies.

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Karina Vold
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

Citations of this work

Extended Cognition and Extended Consciousness.David Chalmers - 2019 - In Matteo Colombo, Elizabeth Irvine & Mog Stapleton (eds.), Andy Clark and his Critics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Music as Affective Scaffolding.Joel Krueger - forthcoming - In David Clarke, Ruth Herbert & Eric Clarke (eds.), Music and Consciousness II. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Phenomenal transparency, cognitive extension, and predictive processing.Marco Facchin - 2024 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 23 (2):305-327.

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References found in this work

The extended mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
The Rediscovery of the Mind.John Searle - 1992 - MIT Press. Edited by Ned Block & Hilary Putnam.
The Bounds of Cognition.Frederick Adams & Kenneth Aizawa - 2008 - Malden, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by Kenneth Aizawa.
The Rediscovery of the Mind.John Searle - 1992 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (1):201-207.

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