The Peripheral Mind: Philosophy of Mind and the Peripheral Nervous System

Hardcover | July 15, 2013

byIstvan Aranyosi

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The Peripheral Mind introduces a novel approach to a wide range of issues in the philosophy of mind by shifting the focus of analysis from the brain to the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS). Contemporary philosophy of mind has neglected the potential significance of the PNS and has implicitlyassumed that, ultimately, sensory and perceptual experience comes together in the brain. Istvan Aranyosi proposes a philosophical hypothesis according to which peripheral processes are considered as constitutive of sensory states rather than merely as causal contributors to them. Part of themotivation for the project is explained in the autobiographical opening chapter, which describes the author's subjective experiences with severe peripheral nerve damage. Although Aranyosi's approach could be classified as part of the current "embodied mind" paradigm in the philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience, this is the first time that notions like "embodiment" and "body" in general are replaced by the more focused concept of the PNS. Aranyosi puts thehypothesis to the test and offers novel solutions to puzzles related to physicalism, functionalism, mental content, embodiment, the extended mind hypothesis, tactile-proprioceptive illusions, as well as to some problems in neuroethics, such as abortion and requests for amputation of healthy bodyparts. The diversity of the volume's methodology--which results from a combination of conceptual analysis, discussion of neuroscientific data, philosophical speculation, and first-person phenomenological accounts--makes the book both engaging and highly informative.

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The Peripheral Mind introduces a novel approach to a wide range of issues in the philosophy of mind by shifting the focus of analysis from the brain to the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS). Contemporary philosophy of mind has neglected the potential significance of the PNS and has implicitlyassumed that, ultimately, sensory and perceptu...

Istvan Aranyosi was born in Sighet/Maramarossziget, in the north of Transylvania, in 1975. He studied philosophy in Budapest, at the Central European University, where he obtained his PhD in 2005. In 2006-2007 he was a fellow at the Centre for Consciousness, The Australian National University. He is currently Assistant Professor of Phi...

other books by Istvan Aranyosi

Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:July 15, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199989605

ISBN - 13:9780199989607

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments1. Margins of Me: a Personal StoryPart 1: Minds and Nerves2. A Philosophical Hypothesis2.1 PMH as a philosophical hypothesis2.2 PMH and the case of visual awareness research2.3 Causal versus constitutive contribution3. Return of the C fibers, or Philosophers' Lack of Nerve3.1 Well, maybe the mind is the brain EL somewhere3.2 Folk neuroscience and the philosophy of mind3.3 Nervous systems and closet sunsum theory4. Toward a Well-Innervated Philosophy of Mind4.1 'It's just cables!'4.2 Functionalist troubles?The mad pain problemThe problem of pseudo-normal visionThe China-brain problemThe triviality problemPart 2 : Bounds of Mind5. Semantic Externalism5.1 Twin Earth5.2 Anti-Narrowness and Determination5.3 Anti-wideness5.4 Skinternalism: an Anti-Internalist Individualism5.5 Some further issues6. Mind Extended6.1 Allegedly extended processes6.2 Allegedly extended statesPart 3: Mind Embodied7. Embodiment and the Peripheral Mind7.1 'Fingers crossed for the embodied mind!'7.2 Phenomenal embodiment and innervation7.3 Against proper disembodiment8. Against Action as Constitutive of Mind8.1 Embodied central processing8.2 The conceptual role of the Neuromuscular Junction8.3 A brief critique of action-based (sensorimotor) theoriesPart 4: Mind and Ethics9. Issues in Neuroethics9.1 Abortion: Thick potentiality9.2 Amputation: Peripheral precedence10. Concluding RemarksReferencesName IndexTopic Index

Editorial Reviews

"Aranyosi's The Peripheral Mind develops an innovative approach to a variety of important topics in philosophy of mind. He offers a critical embodied perspective that draws strongly on empirical science but operates on the same turf and in the same vocabulary as mainstream analytic philosophyof mind. At the same time, Aranyosi offers a critical perspective on recent embodied theories, showing how they have ignored some of the most important aspects of bodily experience. In effect, I think this book will generate a productive debate that both mainstream philosophers of mind andproponents of the more enactive and extended styles of embodiment theory will have to join." --Shaun Gallagher, Lillian and Morrie Moss Professor of Philosophy, University of Memphis, and author of How the Body Shapes the Mind.