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Philosophies 2019, 4(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4020012

Embodiment: The Ecology of Mind

Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto 603-8577, Japan
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
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PDF [176 KB, uploaded 27 March 2019]

Abstract

Following a suggestion from G. Bateson, this article enquires into the consequence of the idea of embodiment in philosophy of mind, taking seriously the notion of an ecology of mind. In the first half of this article, after distinguishing between the biological and the systemic approaches to ecology, I focus on three characteristics of the systemic approach. First, that a system is an abstract object that is multiply embodied in a collection of physically distinct heterogeneous objects. Second, that there is a form of circular causality between the level of the elements and that of the system as a whole, as some characteristics of the elements partake in the explanation of how the system functions, while the requirement of the system explains why the elements have the characteristics that they do. The third is the ontological uncertainty that we sometimes find in ecology, where the same term is used to designate both a central component of the ecological system and the system as a whole. In the second half, beginning with a critique of the theory of mind approach, I look into the consequences of conceiving that mind is embodied in a collection of physically distinct heterogeneous objects that interact as elements of a system, rather than enclosed in an individual body. View Full-Text
Keywords: autonomous system; autopoietis system; Bateson; children; cognitive ecology; ecology; niche; theory of mind autonomous system; autopoietis system; Bateson; children; cognitive ecology; ecology; niche; theory of mind
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Dumouchel, P. Embodiment: The Ecology of Mind. Philosophies 2019, 4, 12.

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