The New Science of the Mind
From Extended Mind to Embodied Phenomenology
An investigation into the conceptual foundations of a new way of thinking about the mind that does not locate all cognition "in the head."
There is a new way of thinking about the mind that does not locate mental processes exclusively "in the head." Some think that this expanded conception of the mind will be the basis of a new science of the mind. In this book, leading philosopher Mark Rowlands investigates the conceptual foundations of this new science of the mind. The new way of thinking about the mind emphasizes the ways in which mental processes are embodied (made up partly of extraneural bodily structures and processes), embedded (designed to function in tandem with the environment), enacted (constituted in part by action), and extended (located in the environment).
The new way of thinking about the mind, Rowlands writes, is actually an old way of thinking that has taken on new form. Rowlands describes a conception of mind that had its clearest expression in phenomenology—in the work of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty. He builds on these views, clarifies and renders consistent the ideas of embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended mind, and develops a unified philosophical treatment of the novel conception of the mind that underlies the new science of the mind.
Bradford Books imprint
In The New Science of the Mind, Mark Rowlands sets out an exciting combination of embodied and extended cognition which he calls the amalgamated mind. Rowlands convincingly argues that the new science of the mind will concern itself with explaining mental processes as amalgamations of neural, bodily, and environmental processes. This book stakes out important new territory and is sure to have a major impact on the future of the field.
Richard Menary, The University of Wollongong
Mark Rowlands insightfully draws from resources in both early analytic philosophy and phenomenology to defend recent conceptions of embodied and extended cognition. He presents convincing arguments to show that, at its core, intentionality involves a transcendental disclosure of the world, and then remarkably shows that the transcendental is characteristic of a mind that is an amalgamation of brain, body, and environment. He thus lays out a brilliant strategy to defeat all of the neurocentric naysayers with respect to the extended—or, in Rowland's terms, the amalgamate—mind.
Shaun Gallagher, Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences, University of Central Florida and University of Hertfordshire
Those who ask whether mental processes can extend beyond the brain and into the world may seem to be asking, 'Where is my mind?' Mark Rowlands instead replaces questions about the location of cognition with a process-based vision of the mind as a complex set of activities distributed across brain, body, and world. His integrative and original book demonstrates that the cognitive sciences already treat mental processes as amalgamations of disparate neural, bodily, and environmental resources. It brings a new level of precision to the case for the extended mind.
John Sutton, Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, Macquarie University