Introduction: Political Philosophy of Mind
What we call political philosophy of mind fuses contemporary philosophy of mind and emancipatory political theory. On the philosophy of mind side, we draw from our own previous work on the essential embodiment theory and enactivism, together with work by Jan Slaby, John Dewey, Pierre Bourdieu, and J.J. Gibson. On the emancipatory political theory side, we draw from Kant, Schiller, Kierkegaard, early Marx, Kropotkin, Foucault, and Frankfurt School Critical Theory. We begin with the claim that human minds are necessarily and completely embodied, and inherently enactive, social, and environmentally embedded, and proceed from there to argue that social institutions partially determine and literally shape our essentially embodied minds, and thereby fundamentally affect our lives. Our focus is on social institutions in contemporary neoliberal societies, specifically higher education and mental health practice. We hold that although these social institutions shape our essentially embodied minds in a destructive, deforming, and enslaving way, it’s possible to create social institutions that are constructive, enabling, and emancipatory. According to our proposed enactive-transformative principle, enacting salient changes in the structure and complex dynamics of a social institution produces corresponding salient changes in the structure and complex dynamics of the essentially embodied minds of the people belonging to that institution.
KeywordsEmbodiment theory Enactivism Emancipatory Human minds Embodiment Neoliberal
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