There’s an interesting conversation taking place at the interface between philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience. One of this conversation’s recurring talking points is the hypothesis of the “extended mind.” Some of the key concerns raised speak to whether the human mind is to be identified with the brain, whether the mind’s powers are analogous to the powers of computers, and what difference it might make to the philosophical and scientific study of the mind if greater consideration is paid to the mind’s character as “embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended.” Alva Noë is one proponent of “extended mind” research, and you can get some sense of the flavor of his contribution to the conversation in the following video.
More from Alva Noë:
- Action in Perception (Bradford, 2006)
- Out of our Heads: Why You are Not Your Brain and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciouness (Hill and Weng, 2010)
- Varieties of Presence (Harvard UnivPr, 2012)
For some further orienting to related discussions in Philosophy of Mind and Embodied Cognitive Science, consider the following for serviceable introductions:
- Joseph Schear, Ed., Mind, Reason, and Being in the World: The McDowell-Dreyfus Debate (Routledge, 2013)
- Lawrence Shapiro, Embodied Cognition (Routledge, 2012)
2 thoughts on “Alva Noe on Consciousness”
have you read his book on varieties of presence? combined with ethnographic work by folks like Tonya Lurhmann I think we have the beginnings of an up to date study of religious life/experience.
Click to access metakinesisfinal.pdf
Thanks for the suggestion. I’m not familiar with Luhrmann. The theologian in me can’t resist the qualification though that we’d also do well to keep in touch with properly theological literature on these matters, and not leave the conversation exclusively in the hands of others.