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Pushing the Boundaries of Consciousness and Cognition

Pepper, Ken (2014) Pushing the Boundaries of Consciousness and Cognition. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis synthesises material from contemporary cognitive science, analytic philosophy of mind continental phenomenology to defend a view of the mind as embodied and extended. The first three chapters focus primarily on embodiment, while the last two chapters focus more on factors external to the body. In chapter I, I introduce Merleau-Ponty's concept of the body schema and argue that we should resist reducing the body schema to an internal representation of the body, and also that it does not always coincide with the boundaries of the biological body. In chapter II, I explicate and defend the sensorimotor approach to visual perception, further invoking Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology to support the arguments therein and to address certain worries internal to the sensorimotor approach. Chapter III builds on the conclusions of chapters I and II to explore one way in which technological extensions of the body can lead to novel perceptual experiences, and tentatively suggests a limited sense in which these experience may still be said to be visual in character. In chapter IV, I move beyond the body to explicate and defend the extended mind thesis, according to which cognition can and often does take place partly outside of brain and body via the active use of external aids and props. Finally, in chapter V, I consider the question of whether, given the perceptual phenomenology described in chapter II and the case for cognitive extension presented in chapter IV, consciousness might also be said to be extended, and argue that if certain assumptions are granted, it can.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Embodied Cognition, Phenomenology
Academic Units: The University of York > Philosophy (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.638992
Depositing User: Mr Ken Pepper
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2015 11:13
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:32
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7973

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