Embodiment, Consciousness, and Neurophenomenology: Embodied Cognitive Science Puts the (First) Person in Its Place

Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (3-4):148-180 (2015)
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This paper asks about the ways in which embodimentoriented cognitive science contributes to our understanding of phenomenal consciousness. It is first argued that central work in the field of embodied cognitive science does not solve the hard problem of consciousness head on. It is then argued that an embodied turn toward neurophenomenology makes no distinctive headway on the puzzle of consciousness; for neurophenomenology either concedes dualism in the face of the hard problem or represents only a slight methodological variation on extant cognitive-scientific approaches to the easy problems of consciousness. The paper closes with the positive suggestion that embodied cognitive science supports a different approach to phenomenal consciousness, according to which the mind is massively representational, cognitive science has no use for the personal-level posits that tend to drive philosophical theorizing about consciousness and mind, and the hard problem is illusory.

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Robert D. Rupert
University of Colorado, Boulder


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