Came across this article by Michael Silberstein and Anthony Chemero in the course of re-reading a recent experiment on Heidegger's concept of ready-to-hand: "Complexity and Extended Phenomenological-Cognitive Systems" (available behind ivy paywalls):
The complex systems approach to cognitive science invites a new understanding of extended cognitive systems. According to this understanding, extended cognitive systems are heterogenous, composed of brain, body, and niche, non-linearly coupled to one another. This view of cognitive systems, as non-linearly coupled brain–body–niche systems, promises conceptual and methodological advances. In this article we focus on two of these. First, the fundamental interdependence among brain, body, and niche makes it possible to explain extended cognition without invoking representations or computation. Second, cognition and conscious experience can be understood as a single phenomenon, eliminating fruitless philosophical discussion of qualia and the so-called hard problem of consciousness. What we call “extended phenomenological-cognitive systems” are relational and dynamical entities, with interactions among heterogeneous parts at multiple spatial and temporal scales….
[W]e will be arguing that if you believe, as a growing number of cognitive scientists and philosophers now do, that cognitive systems include portions of the extra-neural, extra-bodily environment, you probably should also believe that consciousness includes portions of the extra-neural, extra-bodily environment. We believe that both cognition and consciousness are extended, and we will therefore often speak of “extended phenomenological-cognitive systems.” In such systems, conscious experience is neither Nothing But brain activity nor Something Else as Well (i.e., qualia).
An interesting build on Clark and Chalmer's work, which goes in a rather different direction than I'm taking it (e.g., using the extended mind thesis to understand our relationships with information technologies and social media), but is still worth a read, if you can get to it….