Technologies of the Extended Mind: Defining the Issues
Neuroethics: Anticipating the Future, J. Illes, ed. pp. 108-122 (2017)
11 Pages Posted: 3 May 2017 Last revised: 14 Aug 2017
Date Written: May 1, 2017
Living in the modern world entails substantial interaction with information technologies. The ways in which people interact with these devices — how they enter into daily practices — has become so profound that they qualify as technologies of the extended mind. This chapter distinguishes between these devices acting as cognitive support versus becoming bona fide extensions of our minds, and argues that this latter, new reality has substantial implications for the field of neuroethics. As exemplars, the implications of these technologies of the extended mind for concepts of autonomy and privacy of thought, as well as for the debate regarding cognitive enhancement, are investigated. The chapter calls for a new framework for thinking about neuroethics for technology that takes into account not just the effects of technology upon the brain, but one that also includes a more expansive concept of the mind.
Keywords: Technologies of the extended mind, autonomy, privacy of thought, cognitive enhancement, technological embeddedness
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