Minds and Machines

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 155–159 | Cite as

Alva Noë: Out of Our Heads: Why You are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons From the Biology of Consciousness

Hill and Wang, New York, 2009, xv+214, $16.50, ISBN 978-0-8090-7465-5
  • Andreas Elpidorou

1. Alva Noë’s Out of Our Heads is a fascinating and stimulating book. The clarity of writing is unparalleled and the breadth of considerations is nothing short of impressive. Although an engagement with the empirical literature has now become common practice for philosophers interested in the nature of the mind, Noë’s ability to juxtapose masterfully the empirical with the conceptual sets him apart from the rest. Out of Our Heads is a well-crafted interlacing of scientific and philosophical considerations that ultimately gives rise to a provocative picture of the human mind.

In the eight chapters, preface, and epilogue that comprise the book, Noë advances a plethora of interconnected theses. He calls for the adoption of a ‘biological perspective,’ provides empirical evidence in support of an enactive and externalist account of consciousness, and comments on the ways that language, technology, and tools extend our body schema (39). Furthermore, Noë stresses the significance of habits...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyBoston UniversityBostonUSA

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