Re-inventing ourselves

the plasticity of embodiment, sensing, and mind

Andy Clark*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


Human minds and bodies are essentially open to episodes of deep and transformative restructuring, in which new equipment (both physical and "mental") can become quite literally incorporated into the thinking and acting systems that we identify as minds and persons. The chapter pursues this theme with special attention to the very notion of the human-machine interface itself. The chapter extends the discussion from bodily augmentation to mental augmentation, indicating what would need to be done to make the vexed idea of enhanced human mentality concrete. The discussion continues by developing a notion of the "profoundly embodied agent" as a means of marking the philosophical and scientific importance of our potential for repeated and literal episodes of self-reconfiguration. The chapter ends by relating this image of profound embodiment to some questions (and fears) concerning converging technologies for improving human performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Transhumanist reader
Subtitle of host publicationclassical and contemporary essays on the science, technology, and philosophy of the human future
EditorsMax More, Natasha Vita-More
Place of PublicationChichester, UK
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781118334317
ISBN (Print)9781118334294
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Converging technologies
  • Human body
  • Human enhancement
  • Human mind
  • Human-machine interface
  • Philosophy
  • Profoundly embodied agent
  • Science

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