Husserl Studies

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 159–168 | Cite as

Thompson, Evan. Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind

Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007, 568 pp., $49.95 (hardcover), ISBN 9780674025110
  • Dan ZahaviEmail author

In 1991 Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch published The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. The book was an important milestone. It criticized mainstream computationalist and cognitivist tendencies in cognitive science by arguing persuasively that the scientific study of the mind could not continue to ignore the experiential and embodied dimensions of human cognition. In outlining an alternative it drew on various sources, including Varela and Maturana’s work on autopoiesis, Buddhism, and phenomenology. The latter tradition was by and large defined through the work of Merleau-Ponty, who was heralded as somebody who in his first major work, The Structure of Behavior, “argued for the mutual illumination among a phenomenology of direct lived experience, psychology and neurophysiology” (Varela et al. 1991, p. 15). Husserl, by contrast, was quickly dismissed as a Cartesian, a representationalist and methodological solipsist who ignored the embodied and...


Cognitive Science Mental Imagery Phenomenological Analysis Transcendental Phenomenology Enactive Approach 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Subjectivity ResearchUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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