The Renaissance Extended Mind

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The Renaissance Extended Mind explores the parallels (and contrasts) between current philosophical notions of the mind as extended across brain, body and world, and analogous notions in literary, philosophical, and scientific texts circulating between the fifteenth century and early-seventeenth century. This perspective illuminates Renaissance texts and aims to inspire a more general reevaluation in the humanities of what constitutes cognition.

Anderson begins with an overview of research and debates surrounding notions of the mind and subjectivity as extended in current cognitive scientific and philosophical research. This invites a reconsideration of other theories concerned with the relationship between brain, body and world, including psychoanalytical and literary theories. The book then explores Renaissance notions of the mind and subjectivity, in terms of the use of one’s body, words, objects, and other people as extensions of the mind and subject. It concludes with two chapters focusing on Shakespeare’s works.

This book reveals the interdisciplinary potential and wider relevance of the notion of the extended mind, and establishes its capacity to contribute to a rethinking of the history of ideas.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillian
Number of pages278
ISBN (Print)9781137412843
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameNew Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science


  • Renaissance
  • Shakespeare
  • Distributed Cognition


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