We should consider interthinking humanity as a new type of organism, whose destiny is to realise new possibilities for evolving life on this planet. Accordingly, we should endeavour to equip it with the mechanisms necessary for the proper fulfilment of its task—the psychosocial equivalents of sense-organs, effector organs, and a co-ordinating central nervous system with dominant brain; and our aim should be the gradual personalisation of the human unit of evolution—its conversion, on the new level of co-operative interthinking, into the equivalent of a person.

Julian Huxley

The Phenomenon of Man

1955

Extended Mind

Exocortex

The concept of the extended mind challenges traditional notions of cognition by suggesting that the mind is not confined to the boundaries of the skull, but can extend into the external environment through interactions with tools, technology, and other individuals. Proposed by philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers in the late 1990s, the hypothesis argues that cognitive processes can be offloaded onto external artifacts, such as smartphones, notebooks, or even social networks, which serve as external “cognitive scaffolds” that augment and enhance our mental capabilities. This perspective blurs the distinction between mind and world, emphasizing the dynamic interplay between internal neural processes and external environmental resources in shaping cognition and behavior.

The extended mind hypothesis has profound implications for understanding human cognition, technology use, and social interaction. It suggests that our cognitive abilities are not solely determined by the capacities of our brains, but are also influenced by the tools and resources we utilize in our daily lives. Moreover, it underscores the importance of cultural and technological artifacts in shaping cognitive practices and facilitating learning, problem-solving, and communication. By recognizing the distributed nature of cognition, the extended mind framework prompts us to reconsider the boundaries of the self and the ways in which we interact with and adapt to our environment, opening up new avenues for research in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind.

Documents

Elon Musk and Joe Rogan   (2018)

Human Civilization and AI

Musk and Rogan discuss the existential risk of uncontrolled artificial intelligence. They explore possibilities for regulation and oversight, the potential for human-AI symbiosis through brain-computer interfaces, and the philosophical implications of advanced AI surpassing human intelligence.

Bryce Huebner   (2013)

Macrocognition

A Theory of Distributed Minds and Collective Intentionality

Bryce Huebner develops a novel approach to distributed cognition and collective intentionality, arguing that genuine cognition requires the capacity for flexible, goal-directed behavior enabled by integrated representational systems. It posits that collective mentality should be ascribed where specialized subroutines are integrated to yield group-relevant, goal-directed behavior. The approach reveals that there are many kinds of collective minds, some more akin to those of honeybees or cats than humans. It challenges traditional notions of collective intentionality, suggesting that groups are unlikely to be "believers" in the fullest sense, shedding new light on questions of collective intentionality and responsibility.

David Lyreskog   (2023)

Merging Minds

The Conceptual and Ethical Impacts of Emerging Technologies for Collective Minds

A growing number of technologies are currently being developed to improve and distribute thinking and decision-making. Rapid progress in brain-to-brain interfacing and swarming technologies promises to transform how we think about collective and collaborative cognitive tasks across domains, ranging from research to entertainment, and from therapeutics to military applications. As these tools continue to improve, we are prompted to monitor how they may affect our society on a broader level, but also how they may reshape our fundamental understanding of agency, responsibility, and other key concepts of our moral landscape.

Tim Urban   (2017)

Neuralink and the Brain's Magical Future

Donald Dulchinos   (2005)

Neurosphere

The Convergence of Evolution, Group Mind, and the Internet

According to Donald Dulchinos, the real action on the Internet isn’t in the realm of commerce. It is, plain and simple, in the realm of religion. But not exactly that old-time religion. This book is about the spiritual impact of our increasing ability to communicate quickly and with enhanced evolution. It's about our search for meaning, our hunger for a glimpse at humanity's future development in which, frighteningly or excitingly, the trend is clearly toward increasing integration of telecommunications and information technology with the body itself. Electronic prosthetics, direct neural implants, and the brain's control of electronic and mechanical limbs move the boundary that used to exist between human and machine to some undefined frontier inside our bodies, our brains, and, perhaps, our minds.

Terence McKenna

Spirituality and Technology

Terence McKenna discusses psychedelic philosophy and the interconnectedness of all things, referencing Moby Dick as an allegory for the quest for transcendental truth.

Philip Brey   (2000)

Technology as Extension of Human Faculties

Marshall McLuhan, Ernst Kapp, and David Rothenberg have each written book-length studies developing theories of technology as an extension of bodily and mental faculties: tools act as prosthetics, amplifying the reach of arms or legs; computers extend memory, calculation, and other cognitive capacities. Philip Brey analyzes these extension theories and asks if the metaphor is valid. Do technologies truly stretch out innate human abilities, or is this mere rhetorical flair? Brey investigates whether there is a substantive sense in which gadgets and gizmos can be seen as extensions of natural human organs. As we increasingly integrate tech into our lives, addressing this question becomes pressing: where does the human end and the technical begin? Brey dives into this ambiguous intersection of person and product.

Andrew Clark and David Chalmers   (1998)

The Extended Mind

Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? The question invites two standard replies. Some accept the boundaries of skin and skull, and say that what is outside the body is outside the mind. Others are impressed by arguments suggesting that the meaning of our words ‘just ain't in the head,’ and hold that this externalism about meaning carries over into an externalism about mind. Clark and Chalmers propose the pursuit of a third position: active externalism, based on the active role of the environment in driving cognitive processes.

Barbara Marx Hubbard   (2008)

The Vision of a Better World

Two visionaries, Tom Munnecke and Barbara Marx Hubbard, engage in an uplifting dialogue exploring the emergence of human creativity and consciousness. They trace inspirations from mentors like Jonas Salk, who recognized futuristic possibilities in Hubbard, and Buckminster Fuller, who affirmed humanity's potential. Together they shine light on the crisis of our times as the birth pangs of a new civilization, calling us to connect with the creativity arising globally. Their exchange weaves threads of hope and positivity, envisioning a future where all people actualize their gifts in service of our world.

Kevin Kelly   (2010)

What Technology Wants

One of today's most respected thinkers turns the conversation about technology on its head by viewing technology as a natural system, an extension of biological evolution. By mapping the behavior of life, we paradoxically get a glimpse at where technology is headed—or "what it wants." Kevin Kelly offers a dozen trajectories in the coming decades for this near-living system. And as we align ourselves with technology's agenda, we can capture its colossal potential. This visionary and optimistic book explores how technology gives our lives greater meaning and is a must-read for anyone curious about the future.

David Chalmers   (2018)

What is Extended Mind?

Chalmers makes a compelling argument that our definition of “mind” is too constricted. Objects in our environment augment and take over certain functions for our brains, extending our cognitive processes out into the physical world beyond our bodies.