Publication 4719

Oyama S. (2011) Life in mind. Journal of Consciousness Studies 18(5–6): 83–93. Fulltext at
Excerpt: I found Thompson’s recasting of the sciences and philosophy of mind to be timely, wide-ranging, and accessible, as audacious as it is meticulous. The author repeatedly confronts the Cartesian split between mind and body, as it appears in various guises, in various literatures. Each time he works through it by integrating methods and findings from more sources than cognitive science or, I take it, phenomenology typically draws on. Along the way, he takes on mental representations, as well as several favored debating props of philosophers of mind, including creepy zombies and naked brains in vats, exposing their frequently odd assumptions and persuasively pressing his enactive alternative. At each explanatory gap he highlights the interdependence between insides and outsides, stressing immersion and intimate engagement: in stark contrast to much of the current literature, these are living, embodied minds open to their worlds.


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