Thomism and the extended mind

This from the Catholic journal New Blackfriars:

Of course there are other ways of doing away with the epistemological gap between mind and world. Thomists would be interested in whether EMT is motivated, in part at least, by a desire to remove the gap that philosophers have often supposed to exist between the world outside and what is going on inside one’s head. How can we be sure, they have asked, that things out there are really as they are represented in our minds? Perhaps, at one time or another, most people have suspected that appearance and reality do not coincide — in some religious traditions that they never do is taken for granted. Actually, removing the supposed mind/world gap seems to be of little interest to Extended Mind theorists. For Thomists, when the intellect comes to know some object, the form that makes the object what it is comes to reside in the intellect itself. Moreover, it isn’t that a ‘likeness’, pictured as a kind of object, floats before the mind’s eye, as if replicating the thing out there; rather, it’s that one and the same thing, the object’s form, exists simultaneously in the intellect and in the object known. In a neat phrase, Professor John Haldane has called this the ‘mind-world identity theory’: ‘the soul is in a way all things’, anima est quodammodo omnia, as Thomas Aquinas says in his commentary on Aristotle’s De Anima. But this is a very different view from EMT. Far from the mind’s extending itself bit by bit into the world, the mind is informed by the world, and the world is taken into the mind. The next step that Professor Clark foresees in the mind’s integration with technology is the development of what he calls cognitive prosthetics, or electronic brain enhancements (EBEs). It may not be impossible, but it would be a challenge to reconcile such advances in the integration of the brain and robotic devices with traditional ideas about the place of the mind in the world.