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Supersizing the MindEmbodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension$
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Andy Clark

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333213.001.0001

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Rediscovering the Brain

Rediscovering the Brain

(p.140) 7 Rediscovering the Brain
Supersizing the Mind

Andy Clark (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the role of the biological brain. It considers a number of worries about recent appeals to embodiment, embedding, and cognitive extension—all of which take as their points of departure the incontrovertible fact that we are very smart indeed and the (only slightly more controvertible) fact that the brain is where the major smarts start. It addresses the question of whether work that stresses embodiment, embedding, distributed functional decompositions, and the well-groomed cognitive niche systematically distort the role of the biological brain. It is argued that attention to embodied, embedded, and extended cognition provides the essential lens through which to appreciate the startling power and elegance of the neural machinery, observed at home in its proper ecological setting.

Keywords:   mind, thinking, brain control, biological brain, embodiment, embedding, functional decomposition

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