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Article

Extended Consciousness: an Interim Report

Citation
Wheeler M (2015) Extended Consciousness: an Interim Report, Southern Journal of Philosophy, 53 (Supplement S1), pp. 155-175.

Abstract
Advocates of extended cognition hold that the physical machinery of mind sometimes extends beyond the skull and skin. In the first part of this paper, I explain why, and more specifically the precise sense in which, consciousness presents such theorists with an extra hurdle to be cleared. The key challenge is posed by phenomenal consciousness, the what-it's-like-ness of experience. I consider two arguments for the claim that the physical machinery of phenomenal consciousness sometimes extends beyond the skull and skin. The first – the argument from sensory substitution – suggests that acceptance of extended phenomenal consciousness should follow from a careful analysis of the phenomenon in which technological augmentation enables one sensory modality, for instance touch, to support the kind of environmental access and interaction ordinarily supported by a different sensory modality, for instance vision. The second argument – the argument from the relational character of experience – suggests that acceptance of extended phenomenal consciousness should follow from a particular conception of conscious experience that is mandated by sensorimotor contingency theory. I conclude that neither argument is decisive.

Journal
Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume 53, Issue Supplement S1

StatusPublished
AuthorWheeler, Michael
Publication date01/09/2015
Publication date online01/09/2015
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/23590
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
ISSN 0038-4283
LanguageEnglish
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