How the Body Shapes the Mind

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Clarendon Press, Oct 12, 2006 - Philosophy - 304 pages
How the Body Shapes the Mind is an interdisciplinary work that addresses philosophical questions by appealing to evidence found in experimental psychology, neuroscience, studies of pathologies, and developmental psychology. There is a growing consensus across these disciplines that the contribution of embodiment to cognition is inescapable. Because this insight has been developed across a variety of disciplines, however, there is still a need to develop a common vocabulary that is capable of integrating discussions of brain mechanisms in neuroscience, behavioural expressions in psychology, design concerns in artificial intelligence and robotics, and debates about embodied experience in the phenomenology and philosophy of mind. Shaun Gallagher's book aims to contribute to the formulation of that common vocabulary and to develop a conceptual framework that will avoid both the overly reductionistic approaches that explain everything in terms of bottom-up neuronal mechanisms, and inflationistic approaches that explain everything in terms of Cartesian, top-down cognitive states. Gallagher pursues two basic sets of questions. The first set consists of questions about the phenomenal aspects of the structure of experience, and specifically the relatively regular and constant features that we find in the content of our experience. If throughout conscious experience there is a constant reference to one's own body, even if this is a recessive or marginal awareness, then that reference constitutes a structural feature of the phenomenal field of consciousness, part of a framework that is likely to determine or influence all other aspects of experience. The second set of questions concerns aspects of the structure of experience that are more hidden, those that may be more difficult to get at because they happen before we know it. They do not normally enter into the content of experience in an explicit way, and are often inaccessible to reflective consciousness. To what extent, and in what ways, are consciousness and cognitive processes, which include experiences related to perception, memory, imagination, belief, judgement, and so forth, shaped or structured by the fact that they are embodied in this way?

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List of Figures
List of Tables
PART IScientific and Phenomenological Investigations of Embodiment
1The Terms of Embodiment
Common Confusions in the Literature
A Conceptual Clarification
Some Phenomenological Details
Motor and Communication Theories of Gesture
An Integrative Theory of Gesture
Expressive Movement From the Beginning?
PART IIExcursions in Philosophy and Pathology
6Prenoetic Constraints on Perception and Action
Intentionality and the Body Schema
Empirical Support
NeoAristotelian Neurobiology

Some Implications for Experimental Design
A Negative Phenomenology of Movement
Complicating Issues
2The Case of the Missing Schema
A Case History
Just the Facts
Framed by the Body
3The Earliest Senses of Self and Others
The Traditional View
Neonate Imitation
Perceptual Intermodality
A Primary Embodied Self
According to MerleauPonty
An Open Philosophical Question
4Pursuing a Phantom
A Scientific Dispute Concerning Aplasic Phantom Limbs
Image or Schema?
HandMouth Coordination in the Fetus and Neonate
Implications for the Aplasic Phantom
Some Additional Considerations
The Onset of Consciousness
5The Body in Gesture
Experiments on Gesture
Reflections on the Molyneux Problem
First Perception
The Developmental Context
Answering the Molyneux Question
New Principles of Perception
8Complex Structures and Common Dynamics of SelfAwareness
The Dynamics of Agency and Ownership in Motor Action
From Embodied Movement to Cognition
Some Phenomenological Problems with Christopher Friths Model
Desynchronization and Subpersonal Explanation
The Ubiquitous Temporal Structure of Experience
Emotion and Intersubjectivity
The Common Structure of Embodied Action and Cognition
9The Interactive Practice of Mind
What Does Phenomenology Say about Theory of Mind?
The Science of Other Minds
Interaction and Intersubjectivity
Autism Central Coherence and Interaction Theory
10Before You Know It
Agency and Free Will
Redrawing the Map

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