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The Mind-Technology Problem

Investigating Minds, Selves and 21st Century Artefacts

  • Investigates the relations between the human mind and 21st century technology

  • Presents new perspectives on mind uploading

  • Explores the extended mind and cognitive artifacts and their relations to the metaphysics of the self

Part of the book series: Studies in Brain and Mind (SIBM, volume 18)

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  • ISBN: 978-3-030-72644-7
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Softcover Book USD 99.99
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Hardcover Book USD 139.99
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Table of contents (14 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-x
  2. The Mind Technology Problem and the Deep History of Mind Design

    • Robert W. Clowes, Klaus Gärtner, Inês Hipólito
    Pages 1-45
  3. Correction to: The Mind-Technology Problem

    • Robert W. Clowes, Klaus Gärtner, Inês Hipólito
    Pages C1-C2
  4. Technology and the Metaphysics of Mind

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 47-47
    2. Emergent Mental Phenomena

      • Mark H. Bickhard
      Pages 49-63
    3. Technology and the Human Minds

      • Keith Frankish
      Pages 65-82
    4. Does Artificial Intelligence Have Agency?

      • Danielle Swanepoel
      Pages 83-104
  5. The Metaphysical and Technological Presuppositions of Mind-Uploading

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 123-123
    2. The Myth of Mind Uploading

      • Gualtiero Piccinini
      Pages 125-144
    3. Cyborg Divas and Hybrid Minds

      • Susan Schneider, Joseph Corabi
      Pages 145-159
    4. Slow Continuous Mind Uploading

      • Robert W. Clowes, Klaus Gärtner
      Pages 161-183
  6. The Epistemology, Ethics and Deep History of the Extended Mind

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 209-209
    2. Extending Introspection

      • Lukas Schwengerer
      Pages 231-251
  7. Back Matter

    Pages 323-326

About this book

This edited book deepens the engagement between 21st century philosophy of mind and the emerging technologies which are transforming our environment. Many new technologies appear to have important implications for the human mind, the nature of our cognition, our sense of identity and even perhaps what we think human beings are. They prompt questions such as: Would an uploaded mind be 'me'? Does our reliance on smart phones, or wearable gadgets enhance or diminish the human mind? and: How does our deep reliance upon ambient artificial intelligence change the shape of the human mind?

Readers will discover the best philosophical analysis of what current and near future 21st technology means for the metaphysics of mind. Important questions are addressed on matters relating to the extended mind and the distributed self. Expert authors explore the role that the ubiquitous smart phone might have in creating new forms of self-knowledge. They consider machine consciousness, brain enhancement and smart ambient technology, and what they can tell us about phenomenal consciousness.

While ideas of artificial general intelligence, cognitive enhancements and the smart environment are widely commented on, serious analysis of their philosophical implications is only getting started. These contributions from top scholars are therefore very timely, and are of particular relevance to students and scholars of the philosophy of mind, philosophy of technology, computer science and psychology.


  • Brain Enhancement
  • Brain Prediction
  • Cognitive Artifacts
  • Cognitive Evolution
  • Extended Cognition
  • Extended Mind
  • Human Experience
  • Metaphysics of the Self
  • Minds and Machines
  • Mind and Technology
  • Mind Uploading
  • Philosophy of Technology
  • Uploaded Mind
  • Radical Brain Enhancement
  • Artificial Mind
  • Big Data Mind
  • Deep Mind
  • Phenomenal conciousness
  • Cognitive Enhancement
  • Technology Distributed Self


Step aside, mind-body problem; more pressing now is the mind-technology problem.  This is not just the question of whether artificial intelligence systems can (or already do!) think, remember, learn, or feel.  Nor is it merely the issue of what, if anything, so-called “smart” technologies can tell us about our own human minds. To be sure, the mind-technology problem and this book do address these questions. But they also address much more: how are our minds, our human nature, changing as a result of interacting with these technologies? To what extent are we becoming (dare I say it?) cyborgs — or was that Rubicon crossed long ago? What bearing do these issues have on the possibility (or incoherence) of uploading and digital immortality? This volume helpfully collects in one place the latest philosophical writing on these issues by some insightful thinkers. Reading this substantial piece of cognitive technology will literally change your mind.

Ron Chrisley, University of Sussex

Reliance on computational technology now pervades everyday life and will only increase with advances in “intelligent” processing systems. The contributors to this penetrating volume address a range of questions concerning the prospects for, and implications of, developments in computational technology. Might artificial systems become conscious or capable of genuine agency? Do they merely supplement human cognition, or have such systems already supplanted some organic cognitive processes? How does reliance on computational technology shape our ways of knowing and remembering? Could you someday upload the contents of your mind to a machine, and if so, would that machine be you? These issues are of crucial importance for understanding the opportunities and perils of advances in computational technology. They also help to shed light on what it means to be a conscious, autonomous, comprehending subject.

Brie Gertler, Commonwealth Professor of Philosophy, University of Virginia

Editors and Affiliations

  • Instituto de Filosofia da Nova (IFILNOVA) Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

    Robert W. Clowes

  • Departamento de História e Filosofia das Ciências & Centro de Filosofia das Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa (CFCUL), Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

    Klaus Gärtner

  • Department of Philosophy & Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany

    Inês Hipólito

About the editors

Robert W. Clowes is Senior Researcher and Coordinator of the Lisbon Mind and Reasoning Group at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. His research interests span a range of topics in philosophy and cognitive science, including the philosophy of technology, memory, agency, skills, and the implications of embodiment and cognitive extension for our understanding of the mind and conscious experience. He is particularly interested in the philosophical and cognitive scientific significance of new technologies, especially those involving the Internet and Artificial Intelligence and how these interact with human agency. His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including TOPOI, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, AI & Society, Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Philosophy and Technology, and the Journal of Consciousness Studies. He received his Ph.D at the University of Sussex.


Klaus Gärtner studied Philosophy at the University of Regensburg. He obtained his PhD at the Instituto de Filosofia da Nova (Universidade Nova de Lisboa). Currently, he is a Researcher at the Departamento de História e Filosofia das Ciências and member of the Centro de Filosofia das Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa in the Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. He is also a founding member of the Lisbon Mind and Reasoning Group. His research interests include Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Science, Epistemology and Metaphysics.


Inês Hipólito is a Postdoctoral fellow and a lecturer at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), and an affiliated member to the Neurobiology group at the Wellcome centre for Human Neuroimaging (University College London). She works on the intersection between philosophy of cognition and computational neuroscience. More precisely, Hipólito applies tools of conceptual modelling to answer philosophical questions of cognition that are compatible with the formalisms of dynamical systems theory. Hipólito has co-edited special issues for Philosophical Transactions, Consciousness and Cognition, and the Mind and Brain Studies (Springer). She has published work in edited books (Routledge, CUP) and journals (Australasian Philosophical Review, Physics of Life Reviews, Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Synthese, Network Neuroscience). Hipólito’s work has been honoured with international prizes and awards, including the Portuguese Ministry for Science and Higher Education; the University of Oxford; the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies; and an award by the British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-72644-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 99.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
This title has not yet been released. You will be able to pre-order it soon.
Hardcover Book USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)