030057 Embodied Mind and Subjectivity (Rhigetti)

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Introducing the topic of the embodied mind in philosophy involves exploring the idea that cognition is not solely a function of the brain but is intricately connected to the body and its interactions with the environment. This perspective challenges traditional Cartesian dualism, which posits a strict separation between mind and body. Proponents of the embodied mind thesis argue for a more integrated understanding of cognition that considers the body's active role in shaping thought and perception. In this course, we will explore phenomenological, contemporary philosophical, and cognitive investigations by tracing the development of notions related to embodiment and the embodied mind, starting with Husserl (1999), Merleau-Ponty (1962), and Varela (1999). One of the cornerstones of the philosophy of the embodied mind, "The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience," authored by Francisco Varela, Eleonor Rosh, and Evan Thomson (2016), will be examined. This work draws on insights from phenomenology, biology, and cognitive science. Finally, we will delve into the contributions of contemporary thinkers such as Andy Clark (1997) and Shaun Gallagher (2005), who have enriched the discourse on embodied mind philosophy, contributing to a more holistic understanding of cognition that considers the intricate connections between the body, the mind, and the environment. The course aims to provide an overview of the development of the debate, inspecting both cognitive and subjective aspects. Students will have the opportunity to link up with our DFG research group “Constructing Scenarios of the Past”, the Bochum-Grenoble Memory Colloquium and our DFG Research Training Group “Situated Cognition”. Participants will be expected to actively participate in the discussion in English. Assistance regarding the English language will be provided upon request.