Andy Clark and David Chalmers (1998) in their seminal work on ‘Extended Cognition’ or ‘Extended Mind’, demonstrated a fictional character, Otto, who has a notebook. For the notebook to be functionally identical to Otto’s memory it has to be available to him automatically, involuntarily, and reliably. However, it has been argued that as the notebook does not have these features it cannot be a part of Otto’s mind. I disagree with this claim that for a notebook to be functionally identical to one’s memory, it should be automatically, reliably and involuntarily available to him.
This claim, that as the notebook does not have these features it cannot be a part of Otto’s mind, suffers ‘false dilemma’ fallacy as although there are kinds of memory that bear these features, there are some that are not available to us reliably as reliability, automaticity, and involuntariness are not essential features of all memory types. In this way, notebook - and other kinds of arranged external signs, notes, tools, etc. - can be possibly a kind of memory.
Furthermore, it should be clarified that extended brain is different from extended mind. This distinction mainly depends on the account of mind-brain relation that we choose. Under Behaviourism, it can be claimed that a notebook (either made of paper or wire) can be a kind of memory and ‘identical’ to one’s mind. However, under Functionalism, a notebook can play the role of a kind of memory. However, a notebook cannot be a part of mind as mind states are not reducible to brain states, and mind is not the brain. It follows the same argument that Putnam (1990) put forward to criticise psychological behaviourism that tends to reduce mind to brain. Therefore, a notebook can play the role of a kind of extended memory for the brain and thus part of one’s extended brain as a tool for his mind, but cannot be told that it will be a part of one’s mind or extended mind.