, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 891-897
Date: 31 Aug 2012

Mark Rowlands, The new science of the mind: from extended mind to embodied phenomenology

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Andy Clark once remarked that we make the world smart so we don't have to be (Clark 1997). What he meant was that human beings (along with many other animals) alter and transform their environments in order to accomplish certain tasks that would prove difficult (or indeed impossible) without such transformations. This remarkable insight goes a long way towards explaining many aspects of human culture, ranging from linguistic notational systems to how we structure our cities. It also provides the basis for Mark Rowlands' thought-provoking and insightful book, The New Science of the Mind.

Rowlands' aim with this book is to show why we should reject Cartesian cognitive science, that is, why we should reject a cognitive science that assumes that mental states and cognitive processes are solely realized by neural mechanisms in the brain. For Rowlands, processes outside the brain can form genuine parts of our minds. That is, the manipulation and transformation of our bodies and environments c ...