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Architecture, memes and minds
Author: Chris Abel

While there is widespread agreement across disciplines that the identities of individuals, groups and places are significantly interrelated, there are equally divergent views as to the nature and origins of those relationships. The first part of the book highlights that the prime importance of the human body in spatial cognition and human perception generally. In stressing the fundamental role of the body as the medium of all personal experience, the concept of the self that emerges thus far retains a strong unitary core. An alternative theory of extended minds which retains the integrity of individual human agents while embracing the extension of personal powers by external devices is also discussed. The second part looks at the scope of inquiry to take in the wider impact of technology on human evolution and the extended self. Selected writings from some of Stiegler's prominent followers and critics were also examined for what they contribute to our understanding of Stiegler's ideas and their possible further applications. He and his followers continue to fall back upon neo-Darwinian concepts and terminologies in elaborating their ideas. Theories of emergence and self-production, or autopoiesis, are investigated as promising alternatives to orthodox evolutionary theory. The subject of design, function of memes, impacts of the coevolution of humankind and technology on the human mind and the self are some other concepts discussed. The third part of the book focuses talk about cognitive roots of classification and combinativity, the relations between form and content, and vernacular architecture.

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Chris Abel

fall back upon neo-Darwinian concepts and terminologies in elaborating their ideas. In attempting to resolve these issues, Chapter 5 pursued the search for a coevolutionary theory of biology and matter for understanding evolution in general. Beginning with an account of Darwin’s original theory, it progressed through an examination of some of the most recent critiques of neo-Darwinism, raising questions about some of its basic tenets. In particular, doubts were cast on the concept of natural selection itself, which the most radical critics like Jerry Fodor and

in The extended self
Abstract only
Chris Abel

themselves, but also among architectural theorists.6 However, regardless of the valuable insights phenomenology provides into human experience and the existential role of the human body, it remains intentionally focused on describing the world as directly experienced in the here and now – phenomenology in itself has little to offer that might explain how we got to be the way we are, or what there might have been in our past to influence present perceptions. Likewise, while evolutionary theory promises to fill those gaps, it too is hobbled in its own manner by neo-Darwinian

in The extended self