Reinventing Ourselves: The Plasticity of Embodiment, Sensing, and Mind
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.