“I here say, in the first place, that there is a great difference between mind and body, inasmuch as body is by nature always divisible, and the mind is entirely indivisible … this would be sufficient to teach me that the mind or soul of man is entirely different from the body, if I had not already learned it from other sources.” That’s Descartes of course, and while he might not have started us down the road to dualism, he certainly sauntered far down it, and philosophy followed. The rise of physicalism in the last century had a lot to do with changes in our thinking about the relation between mind and body, but philosophy had to wait for a revolution in cognitive science to see that we don’t just need a body to think in, our bodies and experiences in the world make our thinking what it is.
Contributors to this issue’s forum track thoughts about embodied cognition in various ways. Mark Johnson, co-author with George Lakoff of the ground-breaking book Metaphors We Live By, scouts the notion of embodied meaning. Daniel D Hutto and Patrick McGivern ask, how embodied is cognition? Tony Chemero attempts to take the ick factor out of the extended mind hypothesis. Monica Cowart considers how thoughts about embodied cognition might help those who treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Finally, Shaun Gallagher resists the invasion of the body snatchers.
Many thanks to our contributors for taking part.