The purpose of this chapter is to provide a background to current research in Enlightenment and Romantic studies on topics related to distributed cognition. The first section of this introductory chapter by George Rousseau reflects on current research in Enlightenment and Romantic studies on topics related to distributed cognition, while the second section by Miranda Anderson considers how the various chapters in this volume advance work in this area. The thought-world of the long eighteenth century involves notions of flux between mind, body and world, mind-life and subject-object structural couplings, sympathetic circulations, mind metamorphoses and manacles, and texts, performances and artefacts as cognitive aids or modes of access to other minds and past phenomenologies.
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