Extended mind and cognitive enhancement: moral aspects of cognitive artifacts

Richard Heersmink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This article connects philosophical debates about cognitive enhancement and situated cognition. It does so by focusing on moral aspects of enhancing our cognitive abilities with the aid of external artifacts. Such artifacts have important moral dimensions that are addressed neither by the cognitive enhancement debate nor situated cognition theory. In order to fill this gap in the literature, three moral aspects of cognitive artifacts are singled out: their consequences for brains, cognition, and culture; their moral status; and their relation to personal identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
JournalPhenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • cognitive enhancement
  • cognitive artifacts
  • neuroethics
  • extended mind
  • distributed cognition
  • material culture
  • cognitive scaffolding


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