The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience
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...more
Reading it from the viewpoint of a practicing psychiatrist/psychotherapist with inclinations toward buddhist practices rather than a neuroscientist or a philosopher, ...more
I was far more impressed by Anthony Chemero's treatment of the subject than this classic text (though I have to take into consideration that Varela et al. were writing in a completely different period and context, and, as ushers of a new paradigm, had to deal with a different set of difficulties from those Chemero had to deal with, writing 18 years later). Most of the explanations felt incomplete, inadequate, and unconvincing (especially their exposition on the no-s ...more
Her point is actually pretty basic, but the text is dense. The basic point is that ideas arise in the mind and exist in the world due to a structural ...more
Francisco Varela, along with Evan Thompson and Eleanor Rosch, present an assortment of "middle ways," in special, between objectivism and nihilism, science and experience.
Science is traditionally concerned with what is 'verifiable' in a very peculiar way: that which is describable in words or diagrams, and that can be measured, compared, and usually reproduced. That works wonders for basically anything involving the creation of technology or the stu ...more
One of those books that teach you so much about a subject that it is difficult to write a review with so much newly found, overwhelming knowledge inside your head which is yet to form concrete grounds. Being a tech geek and having academic background in the IT/CS field I had already quite a decent familiarity with IA and cognitive sciences and such subjects, and the fact that this domain had always fascinated me was the reason I picked this book. Without having a clear idea of w ...more
This is a very "dense" book that would appeal to people a) with a lot of background in the philosophy of mind and b) looking for alternative approaches to those provided by western philosophy. However, if you have not read anything yet in that area, I suggest you start with something easier and more introductory.
The authors provide a good review of the problems around "what is mind" and I really enjoyed the connection they make between objectivism and nihilism. However, they seem to ...more
What again is the added value of all the Buddhist references? Mindfulness is undoubtedly a promising research tool. However, I am a bit tired of all the "look, they used it for thousand of years, we have to listen to them". Show how Buddhist phenomenology can refine the western one or how it c ...more
We can phrase this very same idea in positive terms: it is only by having a sense of common ground between cognitive science and human experience that our understanding of cognition can be more complete and reach a satisfying level. We thus propose a constructive task: to enlarge the horizon of cognitive science to include the broader panorama of human, lived experience in a disciplined, transformative analysis.”