Embodied appearance properties and subjectivity

Adaptive Behavior 26 (Special Issue: Spotlight on 4E C):1-12 (2018)
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The traditional approach in cognitive sciences holds that cognition is a matter of manipulating abstract symbols followingcertain rules. According to this view, the body is merely an input/output device, which allows the computationalsystem—the brain—to acquire new input data by means of the senses and to act in the environment following its com-mands. In opposition to this classical view, defenders of embodied cognition (EC) stress the relevance of the body inwhich the cognitive agent is embedded in their explanation of cognitive processes. From a representationalist frameworkregarding our conscious experience, in this article, I will offer a novel argument in favor of EC and show that cognitionconstitutively—and no merely causally—depends upon body activity beyond that in the brain. In particular, I will arguethat in order to solve the problem derived from the empirical evidence in favor of the possibility of shifted spectrum,representationalist should endorse the view that experiences concern its subject: the content of experience isde se.Ishow that this claim perfectly matches the phenomenological observation and helps explaining the subjective characterof the experience. Furthermore, I argue that entertaining this kind of representation constitutively depends on bodilyactivity. Consequently, insofar as cognition depends on consciousness, it is embodied.

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Miguel Angel Sebastian
National Autonomous University of Mexico


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