Mark Rowlands: "Extended Mind: The Argument From Intentionality"

The traditional argument for the extended mind rests functionalism about mental states and processes. The argument I shall develop in this paper is quite different and turns on the nature of intentionality. I shall argue for an extended account of processes that are both conscious and intentional (i.e. experiencing). The argument rests on two claims: (a) the intentional directedness of experiences consists in a form of revealing or disclosing activity, and (b) disclosing activity often - not always, not necessarily, but often - straddles neural processes, bodily processes and things we do in and to the world.

Mark Rowlands (b. 1962, in Newport, Wales) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami. He is the author of a dozen books (and numerous journal articles), translated into fifteen languages. His work divides up into three categories. The first category comprises work in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Here he is known for a view known as the extended mind. The idea is that at least some mental processes extend into the subject's environment in that they are composed, partly (and, on most versions, contingently), of manipulative, exploitative, and transformative operations performed by that subject on suitable environmental structures. The second category of Rowlands' published work comprises work in applied ethics, in particular concerning the moral status of non-human animals and the natural environment. The third category comprises cultural criticism, broadly construed, and also attempts to convince the general public of the wonders of philosophy. Rowlands achieved widespread fame for his critically acclaimed autobiography, The Philosopher and the Wolf (2008), which is the story of a decade of his life he spent living and travelling with a wolf. He is a Founding Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and a Member of the American Philosophical Association.

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