In Embodied Minds in Action, Robert Hanna and Michelle Maiese work out a unified treatment of three fundamental philosophical problems: the mind-body problem, the problem of mental causation, and the problem of action. This unified treatment rests on two basic claims. The first is that conscious, intentional minds like ours are essentially embodied. This entails that our minds are necessarily spread throughout our living, organismic bodies andbelong to their complete neurobiological constitution. So minds like ours are necessarily alive. The second claim is that essentially embodied minds are self-organizing thermodynamic systems. This entails that our mental lives consist in the possibility and actuality of moving our own living organismic bodies throughspace and time, by means of our conscious desires. The upshot is that we are essentially minded animals who help to create the natural world through our own agency. This doctrine--the Essential Embodiment Theory--is a truly radical idea which subverts the traditionally opposed and seemingly exhaustive categories of Dualism and Materialism, and offers a new paradigm for contemporary mainstream research in the philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience.
- Publication Date:
- 08 / 01 / 2009