Francisco Varela, Evan T. Thompson, Eleanor Rosch: The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (1991)

25 March 2012, dusan

“Although the scientific study of the mind has developed rapidly in recent years, it has devoted little attention to human cognition understood as everyday lived experience. The Embodied Mind corrects this imbalance within cognitive science by providing a deep and sophisticated treatment of the spontaneous and reflective dimensions of human experience. Varela, Thompson, and 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.

The dialogue proceeds in five parts. The first introduces the two partners and explains how the dialogue will develop. The second presents the computational model of mind that gave rise to cognitive science in its classical form. The authors show how this model implies that the self is fundamentally fragmented and introduce the complementary Buddhist concept of a nonunified, decentralized self. The third shows how cognitive science and Buddhist psychology provide the resources for understanding how the phenomena usually attributed to a self could arise without an actual self. The fourth presents the authors’ own view of cognition as embodied action and discusses the relevance of this view for cognitive science and evolutionary theory. The fifth considers the philosophical and experiential implications of the view that cognition has no foundation or ground beyond its history of embodiment and explores these implications in relation to contemporary Western critiques of objectivism and the nonfoundationalist tradition of Buddhist philosophy.”

Publisher MIT Press, 1991
ISBN 0262720213, 9780262720212
328 pages


PDF (updated on 2020-4-17)

3 Responses to “Francisco Varela, Evan T. Thompson, Eleanor Rosch: The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (1991)”

  1. The Embodied Mind PDF | Knowledge Ecology on March 26, 2012 5:13 pm

    […] in my opinion and it seems that someone has been kind enough to upload the full pdf of the text HERE (h/t Cliff Gerrish). I also highly recommend Evan Thompson’s more recent book Mind in Life: […]

  2. Ayoub on July 4, 2012 4:14 pm

    I was looking for a pdf version of the book and I was redirected to your page but unfortunately I found that the mediafire link is no longer working! :(
    Would you mind sending it to me please or just re-upload the book again :)
    Thank you in advance !

  3. dusan on July 6, 2012 7:50 pm

    hey Ayoub, the link is updated

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