James on Experience and the Extended Mind

Contemporary Pragmatism 3 (1):165-176 (2006)
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William James’s characterization of consciousness as a selecting agency can be used to develop and defend an externalist view of mind. The mind – including the content of phenomenal consciousness – is in an important sense distributed beyond the skin and skull of the subject, out into the world of people and things. Moreover, conscious experience is an action, and not simply something that happens to us. Consciousness, perception, and experience are activities – in other words, things that we do.
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