Mind in Action

Experience and Embodied Cognition in Pragmatism

  • Pentti Määttänen

Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 18)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Pentti Määttänen
    Pages 1-15
  3. Pentti Määttänen
    Pages 17-27
  4. Pentti Määttänen
    Pages 29-39
  5. Pentti Määttänen
    Pages 41-51
  6. Pentti Määttänen
    Pages 53-66
  7. Pentti Määttänen
    Pages 67-75
  8. Pentti Määttänen
    Pages 77-86
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 87-94

About this book


The book questions two key dichotomies: that of the apparent and real, and that of the internal and external. This leads to revised notions of the structure of experience and the object of knowledge. Our world is experienced as possibilities of action, and to know is to know what to do. A further consequence is that the mind is best considered as a property of organisms’ interactions with their environment. The unit of analysis is the loop of action and perception, and the central concept is the notion of habit of action, which provides the embodied basis of cognition as the anticipation of action. This holds for non-linguistic tacit meanings as well as for linguistic meanings. Habit of action is a teleological notion and thus opens a possibility for defining intentionality and normativity in terms of the soft naturalism adopted in the book. The mind is embodied, and this embodiment determines our physical perspective on the world. Our sensory organs and other instruments give us instrumental access to the world, and this access is epistemic in character. The distinction between the physical and conceptual viewpoint allows us to define truth as the correspondence with operational fit. This embodied epistemic truth is however not a sign of antirealism, as the instrumentally accessed theoretical objects are precisely those objects that experimental science deals with.



Dewey on the Object of Knowledge Habit of Action Instrumental Phenomenology Intentionality Naturalized Internal Representations Naturalism and Normativity Peirce’s Pragmatism Perception-action Loop Philosophical Naturalism

Authors and affiliations

  • Pentti Määttänen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art StudiesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-17622-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-17623-9
  • Series Print ISSN 2192-6255
  • Series Online ISSN 2192-6263
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