Varieties of the Extended Self (NOW CANCELLED)
Richard Heersmink (La Trobe University)

March 6, 2020, 9:30am - 11:00am
Philosophy Department, Monash University

E561/Menzies building/Clayton campus
20 Chancellor's Walk, Monash University
Melbourne 3800


Monash University



Abstract: This article provides an overview and analysis of recent work on the extended self, demonstrating that the boundaries of selves are fluid, shifting across biological, artifactual, and sociocultural structures. First, it distinguishes between minimal selfhood, personhood, and narrative selfhood. Second, it surveys how philosophers, psychologists, and cognitive scientists argue that embodiment, cognition, and emotion can be extended and what that implies for the boundaries of selves. The main focus is on the link between the extended mind and extended self, which has received the most attention in recent literature. But accounts of the extended self developed independently of the extended mind are also briefly discussed.

Bio: Richard Heersmink is a lecturer in philosophy at La Trobe University, teaching courses in philosophy of biology, ethics, and critical thinking. His research interests are at the intersection of philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of technology, and applied ethics. The overall aim of his work is to better understand how the informational properties of artifacts enhance and transform memory, cognition, and human identity. He takes an extended and distributed cognition view on the relation between agents and cognitive artifacts, but also draws on empirical research from the cognitive sciences, psychology, and human-computer interaction. He has a further interest in the normative and cultural dimensions of cognitive artifacts. His co-authored paper in Memory Studies gives an overview of his research interests.

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