Sunday, August 16, 2020

Minds are not disembodied

Thomas Fuchs, who I have mentioned before (eg. see previous post), has a useful summary (see article) of the concept of circularity from an embodied and enactive point of view. Living beings have the two aspects of lived or subject body (Leib) and living or object body (K├Ârper). These correspond to two different attitudes respectively: the personalistic, which takes a holistic view of the person experiencing the body from the first person perspective and the others’ body from a second person perspective; and the more narrow naturalistic, which observes and investigates the body from a third person perspective. 

Neuroscience, by turning only to the physical, sidelines the circular interaction of the brain, body, and environment. Examining the brain in a scanner does not tell us anything about the cause of thoughts, emotions and behaviour. These need to be understood by considering the circular causality of embodied subjectivity, its situation and history. As Thomas Fuchs says:-
The brain is not the locus of subjectivity but only a mediating component of the cycles of self-regulation, sensorimotor, and social interaction, in which the life of a human person consists.

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