- Jul 2022
he aim of the present paper is to propose a radical resolution to this controversy: weassume that mind is a ubiquitous property of all minimally active matter (Heylighen, 2011). Itis in no way restricted to the human brain—although that is the place where we know it in itsmost concentrated form. Therefore, the extended mind hypothesis is in fact misguided,because it assumes that the mind originates in the brain, and merely “extends” itself a little bitoutside in order to increase its reach, the way one’s arm extends itself by grasping a stick.While ancient mystical traditions and idealist philosophies have formulated similarpanpsychist ideas (Seager, 2006), the approach we propose is rooted in contemporaryscience—in particular cybernetics, cognitive science, and complex systems theory. As such, itstrives to formulate its assumptions as precisely and concretely as possible, if possible in amathematical or computational form (Heylighen, Busseniers, Veitas, Vidal, & Weinbaum,2012), so that they can be tested and applied in real-world situations—and not just in thethought experiments beloved by philosophers
The proposal is for a more general definition of the word mind, which includes the traditional usage when applied to the human mind, but extends far beyond that into a general property of nature herself.
So in Heylighen's defintion, mind is a property of matter, but of all MINIMALLY ACTIVE matter, not just brains. In this respect, Heylighen's approach has early elements of the Integrated Information Theory (IIT) theory of Koch & Tononi