Thursday, May 19, 2011

note taking. a two-fer (related). posted (be me) elsewhere
The extended mind hypothesis is no more than a fantasy of the hypertrophied self. The fact that we make cues and markers from the world around us, and that we create or build our subjectivity out of our experience of the world is not news. Mnemonic devices are not a recent discovery, or even a recent rediscovery. And then there's Proust. All this is evidenced in science and art. But the notion that the self itself is external to our bodies is no more than religious fantasy. And on top of that the politics are neoliberal and reactionary. If my self extends out into the world than my cell phone and my car and my girlfriend are all aspects of me, and I have to right to speak [equally] on their behalf. If they are objects in the world that I have only partial access through my perceptions, then my obligation is curiosity, and humility, even in relation to inanimate objects.

We construct our internal worlds out of our experience of the external world. Everything in science leads to to say they're tied together. Nothing leads us to say they're identical, even less that our minds encompass the world, That's nothing more than colonialism as cognitive science. I can't speak for my girlfriend, any more than Israel can speak for Palestinians.

I've come to understand recently what professors of philosophy are talking about when they refer to the new relations of Analytic and Continental philosophy: they now share poeticized fantasies of the expanded, [but] empathetic, self, speaking for the other. But we're individuals tied together. Individuality is not individualism. Aestheticized -poeticized- individualism is no more than an ideology, a theological fantasy.
The essay in Synthese is titled "On the Non-Epistemology of Intelligent Design" but professional philosophers are still debating whether or not philosophy is "garbage" and therefore non-epistemology.

At the moment I'm reading arguments, made by respected philosophers (respected even by Brian Leiter) for the "Extended Mind Hypothesis", which argues that "the human mind has never been ‘bound and restricted by the biological skin-bag, … the ancient fortress of skin and skull' " and for "freeing ourselves from mere bio-chauvinistic prejudices."


If philosophers can't tell valid reasoning from garbage they should leave the arguments to scientists, and specifically to scientists who pay less attention to philosophers. Another reason to read Lewontin.
Of course there's no hard and fast rule for valid reasoning about the world. I made that point in a final comment.

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