AI Has It Completely Wrong: Thinking Does Not Take Place Solely in Our Brains

Ian Mitroff
3 min readJun 12, 2024

I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.

“A growing area of research suggests that thinking is influenced not just by what’s inside our skulls, but by cues from our body movements, surroundings, and other people.” — Jeffrey Young

The quote by Jeffrey Young reminded me of the fundamental point that Thinking does not take place solely within our Brains and our Brains alone. Rather, Thinking — certainly the process — is distributed throughout the entire Body. For this reason, Philosophers, Psychologists, and Sociologists talk of Distributed Consciousness and Cognition.

But Thinking is not only distributed within a person’s extended Body. It’s distributed as well throughout, and therefore a function, of Society as a whole.

E.A. Singer, one of William James’s best students, and the mentor of C. West Churchman, the man who taught me Philosophy, put it best: “It takes two minds to know one. There is the Experiencing Mind and the Reflective Mind.” The Experiencing Mind is not always aware of its thoughts and actions, certainly not their consequences. It takes another Mind working in cooperation for any single Mind to have…