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By: Andy Clark
When historian Charles Weiner found pages of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman's notes, he saw it as a "record" of Feynman's work. Feynman himself, however, insisted that the notes were not a record but the work itself. In Supersizing the Mind , Andy Clark argues that our thinking doesn't happen only in our heads but that "certain forms of human cognizing include inextricable tangles of feedback, feed-forward and feed-around loops: loops that promiscuously criss-cross the boundaries of brain, body and world." The pen and paper of Feynman's thought are just such feedback loops, physical machinery that shape the flow of thought and enlarge the boundaries of mind. Drawing upon recent work in psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, robotics, human-computer systems, and beyond, Supersizing the Mind offers both a tour of the emerging cognitive landscape and a sustained argument in favor of a conception of mind that is extended rather than "brain-bound." The importance of this new perspective is profound. If our minds themselves can include aspects of our social and physical environments, then the kinds of social and physical environments we create can reconfigure our minds and our capacity for thought and reason. "brilliant...[providing] the best argument I've seen for the idea that minds are smeared over more space than neuroscience might have us believe" - New Scientist " Supersizing the Mind is an important book for cognitive-science theorists of all stripes...Although traditional and radical theorists are likely to remain unconvinced, there can be no doubt that Supersizing the Mind will set the terms for many of the coming debates."-- Times Literary Supplement "...it offers original thinking in the philosophy of mind, and it is highly recommended for academic collections in that subject."-- Library Journal "In Supersizing the Mind, philosopher Andy Clark makes the compelling argument that the mind extends beyond the body to include the tools, symbols and other artefacts we deploy to engage the world...Supersizing the Mind is a treat to read. It is brimming with remarkable ideas, novel insights and amusing language."--Nature
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