Behavioral and Brain Sciences


Bootstrapping the mind

Julian Kiversteina1 and Andy Clarka1

a1 School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9JX, Scotland, United Kingdom.


After offering a brief account of how we understand the shared circuits model (SCM), we divide our response into four sections. First, in section R1, we assess to what extent SCM is committed to an account of the ontogeny and phylogeny of shared circuits. In section R2, we examine doubts raised by several commentators as to whether SCM might be expanded so as to accommodate the mirroring of emotions, sensations, and intransitive actions more generally. Section R3 responds to various criticisms that relate to the account of social-learning Hurley proposes in the target article. We conclude in section R4 by responding to a number of commentators who argued for the limitation of control theory as a framework for studying social cognition.

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    The shared circuits model (SCM): How control, mirroring, and simulation can enable imitation, deliberation, and mindreading Susan Hurley Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TB, and All Souls College, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 4AL, United Kingdom

    Andy Clark is Professor of Philosophy in the School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences, at Edinburgh University in Scotland. He was a close friend to Susan Hurley, whose ideas concerning mind and dynamics have had a large influence on his own work which concerns the nature of mind, and the cognitive role of bodily and environmental structures and processes. He is the author of several books including Being There: Putting Brain, Body And World Together Again (MIT Press, 1997), Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies And The Future Of Human Intelligence (Oxford University Press, 2003) and Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action and Cognitive Extension (forthcoming with Oxford University Press).

    Julian Kiverstein is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University Edinburgh working as part of the collaborative research project CONTACT – Consciousness in Interaction. CONTACT is a part of the EUROCORES program, Consciousness in the Natural and Cultural Context, which will run from 2006 to 2009. Susan Hurley was a Principle Investigator of the CONTACT group based at Bristol University. Kiverstein and Hurley were just beginning to collaborate on a project investigating the relationship between social cognition and consciousness using the shared circuits model, one of the many applications of shared circuits Hurley had planned to explore. Kiverstei plans to complete this work as part of postdoctoral research.