Several members of the group are seeking to combine the fields of philosophy of cognitive science and technology but this is a special focus of Robert Clowes´s current research programme, funded by FCT: Virtualism and the Mind: Rethinking Presence, Representation and Self: – (SFRH/BPD/70440/2010) . We are especially interested in pursuing the under-researched area which links philosophy of cognitive science and the philosophy of technology.
Some avenues we are pursuing include.
- The Cognitive, Epistemic and Ethical Implication of Mobile Internet Technology (see
- Cognitive enhancements from brain
- The Extended Mind, Cognitive Scaffolding Factors that influence our subjective bonding with technology.
- How to understand "the good" of our relationship with technology. Especially around the question of cognitive enhancement and diminishment. We have a special interest in developing A virtue ethics of cognitive technologies.
- Artificial Intelligence, Intelligence Enhancement & Machine Consciousness.
Recent years have seen an increasing rapprochement between the fields of philosophy of cognitive science and philosophy of technology. Much of this has been driven by the theory of the extended mind which holds that suitably employed technologies can count as actual parts of our minds (Clark & Chalmers, 1988). Although the first phase of discussions about the extended mind treated primarily metaphysical issues more recent work has started to probe the cognitive properties of technologies.
In this spirit a series of papers (Clowes, 2012, 2013 and 2014) look at the cognitive properties of contemporary information technologies of the Cloud and Electronic Memory. The point of departure here is that internet cloud technology appears to readily meet the conditions for counting - at least under some circumstances - as part of our extended mind. The question then becomes whether this appearance is really a reality, but especially what are the cognitive, epistemic and ethical implications of our use of, and perhaps fusion with this new regime of cognitive technology. Robert Clowes is currently preparing a monograph on these questions.
Robert Clowes has recently contributed to the production of the SINTELNET wide paper on social intelligence on
Relevance of wide cognition for social intelligence (forthcoming). Some of the work that led into this was presented at the SINTELNET workshop a (slides).
Selected related papers (and some popular articles)
Clowes, R. W. (2015). Thinking in the cloud: The Cognitive Incorporation of Cloud-Based Technology. Philosophy and Technology, 28, Issue 2, (2), 261-296. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13347-014-0153-z#page-1
Clowes, R. W. (2014a). Faceache: WEB 2.0, Safety Culture, The End of Intimacy and the Implosion of Private Life. In F. Negro (Ed.), Público Privado, o deslizar de uma fronteira (pp. 279-298). Lisbon, Portugal.
Clowes, R. W. (2013). The Cognitive Integration of E-Memory. Review of Philosophy and Psychology(4), 107-133. (journal paper)
Clowes, R. W. (2012). Hybrid Memory, Cognitive Technology and Self. In Y. Erdin & M. Bishop (Eds.), Proceedings of AISB/IACAP World Congress 2012.(workshop paper)
Clowes, R. W. (2011a, Friday 16th December). Is technology making us smarter or dumber? Culture Wars, 16th December, (online magazine article)
Clowes, R. W. (2011b, 1st November). Facebook's impact on the brain. The Independent. (newspaper article)
Clowes, R. W. (2009). The New Public Space. Retrieved 4th Dec, 2012, (online magazine article)
Clowes, R. W. (2007). The complex vehicles of human thought and the role of scaffolding, internalisation and semiotics in human representation. Paper presented at the Adaptation and Representation, virtual platform @ www.interdisciplines.org.
Clowes, R. W., & Morse, A. (2005). Scaffolding Cognition with Words. In L. Berthouze, F. Kaplan, H. Kozima, Y. Yano, J. Konczak, G. Metta, J. Nadel, G. Sandini, G. Stojanov & C. Balkenius (Eds.), Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Epigenetic Robotics (pp. 102-105). Nara, Japan: Lund University Cognitive Studies, 123. Lund: LUCS. (workshop paper)
Some Reference Points in the discussion.
Clark, A., & Chalmers, D. (1998). The Extended Mind. Analysis, 58, 10-23.