Reinventing Ourselves: The Plasticity of Embodiment, Sensing, and Mind
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Recent advances in Cognitive Science and Cognitive Neuroscience open up new vistas for human enhancement. Central to much of this work is the idea of new Human-Machine interfaces (in general) and new Brain-Machine interfaces (in particular). But despite the increasing prominence of such ideas, the very idea of such an interface remains surprisingly under-explored. In particular, the notion of human enhancement suggests an image of the embodied and reasoning agent as literally extended or augmented, rather than the more conservative image of a standard (non-enhanced) agent using a tool via some new interface. In this essay, I explore this difference, and attempt to lay out some of the conditions under which the more radical reading (positing brand new integrated agents or systemic wholes) becomes justified.