The extended mind

This photograph is visually representing my views on the extended mind. As David Chalmers points out the theory believes that technologies can perform similar functions to that of your mind and can therefore be seen as part of your mind or at least an extension of this. “When parts of the environment are couple to a cognitive system in the right way, they become parts of the mind” Chalmers 2009. I have used the iPhone, a laptop and a notebook as representations of the outside environment and used the cables to show their connection to the mind.

One example of the extended mind is this example of e-sense. Photographs were taken and then turned into vibrations. Eventually after hours of training visually impaired people were able to recognise the pictures through these vibrations. This is an excellent example of the theory of the extended mind. In this picture I have shown another way I believe this theory relates to the visually impaired as it could be argued that the sound that the button make symbolising when it is safe to cross is part of the mind.

In this final picture I chose to visually represent the idea introduced by Timothy Galleway in “The Inner Game of Tennis” where he shows us the importance of focusing your mind by teaching someone to play tennis well in 20 minutes. According to Galleway learning happens when attention is focused and, as Alan Kay explains, one way to do this is by removing interference. I have represented this by removing the second ball (the interference) away from the other ball.

I found the theory of the extended mind a little hard to wrap my head around at first. Once I started to understand it, the idea suddenly came very interesting and I think many helpful and clever ideas can come by looking at technology in this way.

Interested in what I am talking about see these following sites and readings and tune in next week:

Stiegler, Bernard (n.d.) ‘Anamnesis and Hypomnesis: Plato as the first thinker of the proletarianisation’ <>


Noë, Alva (2010) ‘Does thinking happen in the brain?’, 13:7 Cosmos and Culture <>

Noë, Alva and Solano, Marlon Barrios (2008) ‘dance as a way of knowing: interview with Alva Noë’, <

Chalmers, David (2009) ‘The Extended Mind Revisited [1/5], at Hong Kong, 2009’, <>

Dalton, S. (n.d.) ‘e sense’ <>

Kay, Alan <>


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