The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience / Edition 1

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The Embodied Mind provides a unique, sophisticated treatment of the spontaneous and reflective dimension of human experience. The authors argue that only by having a sense of common ground between mind in Science and mind in experience can our understanding of cognition be more complete. Toward that end, they develop a dialogue between cognitive science and Buddhist meditative psychology and situate it in relation to other traditions such as phenomenology and psychoanalysis.

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Editorial Reviews

Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch argue that it is only by having a sense of common ground between mind in science and mind in experience that our understanding of cognition can be more complete. To create this common ground, they develop a dialogue between cognitive science and Buddhist meditative psychology and situate this dialogue in relation to other traditions, such as phenomenology and psychoanalysis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262720212
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 11/13/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 673,148
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Francisco Varela is Director of Research at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique and Professor of Cognitive Science and Epistemology, CREA, at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris.

Eleanor Rosch is Professor of Psychology at the University of California,Berkeley.

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Table of Contents

I The Departing Ground
A 1 Fundamental Circularity: In the Mind of the Reflective Scientist
An Already-Given Condition
What Is Cognitive Science?
Cognitive Science within the Circle
The Theme of This Book
2 What Do We Mean "Human Experience"?
Science and the Phenomenological Tradition
The Breakdown of Phenomenology
A Non-Western Philosophical Tradition
Examining Experience with a Method: Mindfulness/Awareness
The Role of Reflection in the Analysis of Experience
Experimentation and Experiential Analysis
II Varieties of Cognitivism
3 Symbols: The Cognitivist Hypothesis
The Foundational Cloud
Defining the Cognitivist Hypothesis
Manifestations of Cognitivism
Cognitivism in Artificial Intelligence
Cognitivism and the Brain
Cognitivism in Psychology
Cognitivism and Psychoanalysis
Cognitivism and Human Experience
Experience and the Computational Mind
4 The I of the Storm
What Do We Mean by "Self"?
Looking for a Self in the Aggregates
Dispositional Formations
Momentariness and the Brain
The Aggregates without a Self
III Varieties of Emergence
5 Emergent Properties and Connectionism
Self-Organization: The Roots of an Alternative
The Connectionist Strategy
Emergence and Self-Organization
Connectionism Today
Neuronal Emergences
Exeunt the Symbols
Linking Symbols and Emergence
6 Selfless Minds
Societies of Mind
The Society of Object Relations
Codependent Arising
Basic Element Analysis
Mindfulness and Freedom
Selfless Minds; Divided Agents
Minding theWorld
IV Steps to a Middle Way
7 The Cartesian Anxiety
A Sense of Dissatisfaction
Representation Revisited
The Cartesian Anxiety
Steps to a Middle Way
8 Enaction: Embodied Cognition
Recovering Common Sense
Self-Organization Revisited
Color as a Study Case
Color Appearance
Color as a Perceived Attribute
Where Is Color?
Color as a Category
Linguistic Aspects of Color
Color and Cognition
Color and Culture
Cognition as Embodied Action
Heideggerian Psychoanalysis
The Retreat into Natural Selection
9 Evolutionary Path Making and Natural Drift
Adaptationism: An Idea in Transition
A Horizon of Multiple Mechanisms
Linkage and Pleiotropy
Random Genetic Drift
Units of Selection
Beyond the Best in Evolution and Cognition
Evolution: Ecology and Development in Congruence
Lessons from Evolution as Natural Drift
Defining the Enactive Approach
Enactive Cognitive Science
In Conclusion
V Worlds without Ground
10 The Middle Way
Evocations of Groundlessness
Nagarjuna and the Madhyamika Tradition
The Two Truths
Groundlessness in Contemporary Thought
The Lack of an Entre-deux
Transformative Potential
11 Laying Down a Path in Walking
Science and Experience in Circulation
Nihilism and the Need for Planetary Thinking
Nishitani Keiji
Ethics and Human Transformation
The View from Social Science
Compassion: Worlds without Ground
In Conclusion
Appendix A Meditation Terminology
Appendix B Categories of Experiential Events Used in Mindfulness/Awareness
The Five Aggregates (skandhas)
The Twelve-fold Cycle of Dependent Origination (pratityasamutpada)
The Processes of Mind (cittalcaitta)
Appendix C Works on Buddhism and Mindfulness/Awareness
Mahayana and Zen
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