Technologies of the extended mind: Defining the issues

Peter B. Reiner, Saskia K. Nagel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuroethics
Subtitle of host publicationAnticipating the Future
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780198786832
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Autonomy
  • Cognitive enhancement
  • Privacy of thought
  • Technological embeddedness
  • Technologies of the extended mind


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