|A distant relative of the brain-in-a-vat: the brain-in-a-hat. "I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is a mere appendix. Therefore, it is the brain I must consider." A very neuroessentialist sentiment of Sherlock Homes, in The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Image from here.|
With the rise of any sort of public awareness, we should expect there to be reactionaries who warn us about going too far with our new idea and neuroessentialism is no different. Rather than defending old arguments in the face of overwhelming experimental evidence, these thinkers instead point cautiously forward and advise us to make our claims about the mind carefully, rather than jump on the neuro-bandwagon. I'd like to display two of these recent, anti-essentialist thinkers here. Both argue what might be considered further expansions of Clark and Chalmers' extended mind hypothesis--which itself argued that pen & paper, computers, (and today, cell phones) could all be considered as vital components of cognitive processes, and thus as part of the mind.