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Embodiment and the inner life

Murray Shanahan

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199226559
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191696220 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226559.001.0001
Embodiment and the inner life

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To understand the mind and its place in Nature is one of the great intellectual challenges of our time, a challenge that is both scientific and philosophical. How does cognition influence an animal's behaviour? What are its neural underpinnings? How is the inner life of a human being constituted? What are the neural underpinnings of the conscious condition? This book approaches each of these questions from a scientific standpoint. But it contends that, before we can make progress on them, we have to give up the habit of thinking metaphysically, a habit that creates a fog of philosophical confusion. From this post-reflective point of view, the book argues for an intimate relationship between cognition, sensorimotor embodiment, and the integrative character of the conscious condition. Drawing on insights from psychology, neuroscience, and dynamical systems, it proposes an empirical theory of this three-way relationship whose principles, not being tied to the contingencies of biology or physics, are applicable to the whole space of possible minds in which humans and other animals are included. The book provides a joined-up theory of consciousness.

Keywords: cognition; sensorimotor embodiment; conscious condition; psychology; neuroscience; dynamical systems; biology; physics; consciousness

Book.  240 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Embodiment and the inner life

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The post-reflective inner view in Embodiment and the inner life

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Cognition and embodiment in Embodiment and the inner life

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Probing the internal in Embodiment and the inner life

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Broadcast and the network in Embodiment and the inner life

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Neurodynamics in Embodiment and the inner life

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The inner life in Embodiment and the inner life

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