Pelin Kasar (2-yr MA) for her paper "The Active Unconscious: The Limits of the Extended Mind"
The Extended Mind Thesis (EM) says that our minds extend beyond our bodies: certain mental states, in particular beliefs, could be partly constituted by external objects. EM has come under attack for its claim that extended states are functionally equivalent to internal mental states. In a similar vein, I argue that extended states cannot function unconsciously. Our everyday actions most of the time are guided by mental states operating unconsciously. The unconscious, where our beliefs are stored, has an active nature that could resist extending. On my view, unconscious mental states can be active in two ways: (1) being manifested in the consciousness without being recalled consciously, and (2) being generated or changed due to undergoing unconscious processes. However, the active nature of the unconscious does not necessarily apply to all standing states. Hence, I do not claim that EM does not succeed. Rather, my conclusion is that EM's scope is at best limited to mental states that are unlikely to operate unconsciously.
Swithin Thomas (2 -yr MA) for his paper "Lucid dreams are not dreams"
I argue against the widely held assumption that lucid dreams provide evidence for the view that dreams are conscious experiences. Ishow how an alternative Wittgensteinian approach, which treats dreams as memory-phenomena, can accommodate all the empirical facts associated with lucid dreaming. I argue that the apparent difficulty of explaining the occurrence of lucid dreams on this approach stems from the fact that our conception of lucid dreams presupposesthe view that dreams are conscious experiences, thus rendering unjustifiedany attempt to present lucid dreams as evidence for the same. I thendevelop an alternative conception of lucid dreams as different in kind from dreams on the basis of similarities with other phenomena such as sleep paralysis, which do involve conscious experiences.Thus, I vindicate the Wittgensteinian approach against the objection that it is unable to account for the phenomenon of lucid dreaming.