The Extended Mind of a “P.O.P.”

“Much of what matters about human intelligence is hidden not in the brain, nor in the technology, but in the complex and iterated interactions and collaborations between the two….The study of these interaction spaces is not easy, and depends both on new multidisciplinary alliances and new forms of modeling and analysis…a new kind of cognitive scientific collaboration involving neuroscience, physiology, and social, cultural, and technological studies in about equal measure”.

- Andy Clark, “Mindware: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Science”, 2001.


This is the extended mind thesis. The central issue is that mental states and processes can spread across physical, social, and cultural environments, as well as bodies and brains, through time and accumulated layers of occupied spaces. Cultural practices from the past can be unearthed as the manifestations of intelligent “dead” individuals.

I believe the use of “P.O.P.” (Participate-Observe-Perform), as a scientific collaboration between theories and field techniques in archaeology, anthropology, and performance studies can unearth the “extended mind” of these (still) interactive “dead” individuals!