Embodiment and the inner life: Cognition and Consciousness in the Space of Possible Minds

Paperback | August 12, 2010

byMurray Shanahan

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To understand the mind and its place in Nature is one of the great intellectual challenges of our time, a challenge that is both scientific and philosophical. How does cognition influence an animal's behaviour? What are its neural underpinnings? How is the inner life of a human beingconstituted? What are the neural underpinnings of the conscious condition? Embodiment and the Inner Life approaches each of these questions from a scientific standpoint. But it contends that, before we can make progress on them, we have to give up the habit of thinking metaphysically, a habit that creates a fog of philosophical confusion. From this post-reflective point ofview, the book argues for an intimate relationship between cognition, sensorimotor embodiment, and the integrative character of the conscious condition. Drawing on insights from psychology, neuroscience, and dynamical systems, it proposes an empirical theory of this three-way relationship whose principles, not being tied to the contingencies of biology or physics, are applicable to the whole space of possible minds in which humans and other animalsare included. Embodiment and the Inner Life is one of very few books that provides a properly joined-up theory of consciousness, and will be essential reading for all psychologists, philosophers, and neuroscientists with an interest in the enduring puzzle of consciousness.

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To understand the mind and its place in Nature is one of the great intellectual challenges of our time, a challenge that is both scientific and philosophical. How does cognition influence an animal's behaviour? What are its neural underpinnings? How is the inner life of a human beingconstituted? What are the neural underpinnings of the...

Murray Shanahan graduated in Computer Science from Imperial College London in 1984. He gained his PhD in 1988, for research in Artificial Intelligence, from Cambridge University (King's College), where he also devoted a great deal of time to philosophy. He carried out postdoctoral work, first at Imperial College then Queen Mary Colleg...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:222 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:August 12, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199226555

ISBN - 13:9780199226559

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. The post-reflective inner view2. Cognition and embodiment3. Probing the internal4. Broadcast and the network5. Neurodynamics6. The inner life