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The Death and Life of the Self

Post-Wittgensteinian Investigations

Series:

Silvia Gáliková

What is a self? What is the relation between phenomenal consciousness and the self? What are we talking about when we speak of conscious experience, the self, an inner mental world? In order to answer these questions the author reconsiders the «turn to the self» in contemporary philosophy of mind. The human self is considered as a natural phenomenon open to careful theoretical analysis, empirical and experimental research. The loss of everyday intuitions on the nature of self plays a significantly liberating role in self-understanding and explaining man’s behaviour.

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V. The Embodied mind and self

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49 V The Embodied mind and self Keywords: embodiment, phenomenology, metaphor, self, illusion, subject The meaning and use of the term “embodiment” and especially “embodied cognition” has undergone a  revi- sion in the development of both cognitive science and philosophy. Within the fi rst-generation of cognitive sci- ence – up to the 1960s – philosophers focussed on ideas related to the representational-computationist theory of the mind. The popularity of the metaphor, The Mind as the software of the Brain, has become a popular and useful heuristic tool in cognitive research. Conscious states of minds were studied independently from the workings of the brain. Cognition was considered as embodied when it was deeply dependent upon features of the physical body of an agent or system. More precisely, the physi- cal body has been understood as functioning beyond the brain, as “something” that plays a signifi cant causal role in cognitive processing. This view contrasted with the 50 traditional view of those philosophers of the mind that have considered the body as peripheral to understand- ing the nature of the mind and cognition. Proponents of embodied cognitive science appealed consistently to novel fi ndings in cognitive neuroscience, clinical prac- tise and experimental work. By the late 1970s, the situa- tion culminated dramatically due to evidence of a strong dependence of concepts and reason on the body and the centrality to conceptualisation and reason on metaphor- ical language (metaphor, imagery, prototypes, etc.). The major diff erence between fi rst and second gen- eration cognitive science lies in the...

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