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Manual The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience

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Here are 3 titles that I recommend based on what was discussed in The Embodied Mind. Note: This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you decide to buy a product through them, I will receive a small commission.

137. Embodied Cognition - THUNK

This has no additional cost to you. If you would like to support Forces of Habit, please use these links. Your email address will not be published. Skip to content. Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch Print The Essence What happens when a perception scientist, and psychologist, and a philosopher ask themselves what lies between the gaps of what can be understood scientifically and phenomenologically about the mind?

The new sciences of mind need to enlarge their horizon to encompass both lived human experience and the possibilities for transformation inherent in human experience.

The Embodied Mind : Cognitive Science and Human Experience - ovmomacifi.gq

Ordinary everyday experience, on the other hand, must enlarge its horizon to benefit from the insight and analyses that are distinctly wrought by the sciences of mind. Everyday perceived, believed, theorized, researched, and known is done so by an observer. We need to enlarge our horizon to encompass non-western traditions of reflection upon experience.

There comes a piercing realization of just how disconnected humans normally are from their overt experience. Part of which I believe is due to our disconnected from our bodies introspective network of sensations. The untamed mind constantly tries to grasp some stable point in its unending movement and cling to thoughts, feelings, and concepts as if they were solid ground Disrupt MindLESSness ; Discover the state of just being. In fact, exactly the reverse is the case. As mindfulness grows, appreciation for the components of experience grows. This is a very "dense" book that would appeal to people a with a lot of background in the philosophy of mind and b looking for alternative approaches to those provided by western philosophy.

However, if you have not read anything yet in that area, I suggest you start with something easier and more introductory. The authors provide a good review of the problems around "what is mind" and I really enjoyed the connection they make between objectivism and nihilism. However, they seem to have a particular bias towards Buddhism's theory of mind and although are critical of western ideas they do not seem to be applying the level of scrutiny to the ideas coming out of the Buddhism tradition.

I understand that the authors wanted to provide more of a practical guide the lived experiences, but if that was the case then they did not need to be highly critical of western thought on that matter. Here at Walmart. Your email address will never be sold or distributed to a third party for any reason.

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Sorry, but we can't respond to individual comments. Recent searches Clear All. Update Location. If you want NextDay, we can save the other items for later. Yes—Save my other items for later. No—I want to keep shopping. Order by , and we can deliver your NextDay items by. In your cart, save the other item s for later in order to get NextDay delivery. We moved your item s to Saved for Later. There was a problem with saving your item s for later. You can go to cart and save for later there. There are important conceptual or philosophical issues that shape how we think about consciousness and how we investigate it.

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You need stones, of course, and you need them to be connected in the right way. But what makes something a cathedral is also iconography, tradition, and its being a place of worship.

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In other words, the larger context in which the structure is embedded helps constitute it as a cathedral. Here the larger context that constitutes consciousness—in the sense of sentience, or felt awareness—is biological: consciousness is a life-regulation process of the whole body in which the brain is embedded.

In the case of human consciousness, the context is also psychological and social. I mean, experiments are great, but we need conceptual work, theoretical work.


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We may need to radically change how we think about things in ways that are still not clear to us. You have said that in seeking a way forward for the Buddhism and cognitive science dialogue, philosophy should take the lead. Buddhism has very sophisticated and technical traditions of philosophy, every bit as sophisticated and technical as Western philosophy. Here we enter the arena of concepts, analysis, abstraction, models, and arguments, all of which bring us closer to science.

Buddhist philosophy is very concerned with analyzing cognition, concepts, and consciousness—the subject matter of cognitive science. So this is the arena where I see Buddhism and science as having a lot to say to each other. Has there been too much focus on the neuroscience of meditation?

Yes, if we mistake this work to be a genuine Buddhism-cognitive science dialogue about the mind. A cognitive science approach to meditation is concerned not with meditation per se but with using meditation to cast new light on basic cognitive phenomena like attention or consciousness. This means using meditation to generate new data and to test rival theories and models of the mind or to devise new ones.

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This can be especially valuable for the neuroscience of consciousness in conjunction with psychology and cognitive anthropology. There is a widespread assumption that once certain metaphysical commitments are taken off the table—karma, rebirth, and the possibility of enlightenment on the side of Buddhism; physicalism, reductionism, and the causal closure principle on the side of science—Buddhism and science are well-matched enterprises because they are both empirical systems interested in investigating the nature of reality.


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Do you think this strategy works? I think it has worked sometimes. In some way, the Mind and Life dialogues have been a paradigm of that bracketing strategy. But the most interesting moments in those dialogues are when the brackets come off. For example, to my mind, the richest of those dialogues is one of the early ones that was about the states of sleeping, dreaming, and dying, seen both from the Tibetan Buddhist perspective and from the perspective of Western science, so you have the neuroscientific viewpoint about the nature of consciousness confronting the Buddhist viewpoint.

And the scientists push back against the idea that there is a consciousness that could somehow have a life apart from the brain.

The Embodied Mind

So the brackets are off and these views are confronting each other. Those are the moments I always look for. Are there other strategies that might be more effective than bracketing for a meaningful Buddhism-science encounter? A different strategy, the one I use, is to conduct the dialogue in the arena of cross-cultural philosophy.

Here the dialogue partner on the Buddhist side is Buddhist philosophy. In philosophy, everything can be up for grabs, but any move you make needs argumentative justification. Philosophy is concerned with issues of meaning.

Embodied Cognition

The Buddhist philosophical tradition becomes very important here, because it has original insights and arguments to offer. Science can change the lifeworld, but it can never step completely outside it and provide some absolutely neutral perspective. And Buddhist philosophy is as relevant as Western philosophy for thinking about the meaning of science.

This perspective can also help us to remember that there are different individuals and communities in the Buddhism-science encounter, and they have different things at stake. Buddhists like B.