Eric Olson: The Extended Self

Blog discussion begins May 18, 2022.

Abstract: The extended-mind thesis says that mental states can extend beyond one’s skin. Clark and Chalmers infer from this that the subjects of such states also extend beyond their skin: the extended-self thesis. The paper asks what exactly the extended-self thesis says, whether it really does follow from the extended-mind thesis, and what it would mean if it were true. It concludes that the extended-self thesis is unattractive, and does not follow from the extended mind unless thinking beings are literally bundles of mental states.

Keywords: Bundle theory, Dualism, Extended mind, Life, Personal identity

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