, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 1-13
Date: 09 Mar 2012

Embodying the Mind and Representing the Body

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Abstract

Does the existence of body representations undermine the explanatory role of the body? Or do certain types of representation depend so closely upon the body that their involvement in a cognitive task implicates the body itself? In the introduction of this special issue we explore lines of tension and complement that might hold between the notions of embodiment and body representations, which remain too often neglected or obscure. To do so, we distinguish two conceptions of embodiment that either put weight on the explanatory role of the body itself or body representations. We further analyse how and to what extent body representations can be said to be embodied. Finally, we give an overview of the full volume articulated around foundational issues (How should we define the notion of embodiment? To what extent and in what sense is embodiment compatible with representationalism? To what extent and in what sense are sensorimotor approaches similar to behaviourism?) and their applications in several cognitive domains (perception, concepts, selfhood, social cognition).

This work was supported by a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation’s European Platform for Life Sciences, Mind Sciences & the Humanities (ref. 85 639).