Citation Wheeler M (2018) Talking about more than Heads: the Embodied, Embedded and Extended Creative Mind. In: Gaut B, Kieran M (ed.). Creativity and Philosophy, Routledge.
Abstract How does creativity work? According to one prominent picture, the essential properties of the created product are determined both by and within certain internal psychological processes, and are then simply implemented in the external world. On this model, the path of creation has an inside-to-outside logic of explanation. By contrast, according to former Talking Heads front-man David Byrne (in his book How Music Works), the internal psychological processes that contribute to acts of creation adaptively fit their products to certain preexisting formats, where the term ‘preexisting’ signals, among other things, that the formats in question are external to the psychological processes concerned. On this model, the path of creation has an outside-to-inside logic of explanation. In this chapter, I argue that both of these models are wrong – or at least incomplete. The path of creation routinely has an entangled, inside-and-outside logic, meaning that the creative mind is embodied (often shaped, in fundamental ways, by non-neural bodily factors), embedded (often causally dependent, in subtle and surprising ways, on the bodily exploitation of environmental props or scaffolds) and extended (elements located beyond the skull and skin sometimes count as constituent parts of the creative mind).