Question
Asked 24th Jul, 2015

Can anyone recommend sources comparing phenomenology and embodied cognition?

In the Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition (https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415623612), Shaun Gallagher draws interesting comparisons between phenomenology and embodied cognition. Might anyone know similar or not so direct accounts that deal with this topic? Also personal opinions of this topic are appreciated. Thanks!

Most recent answer

17th Dec, 2016
David Charles Wright-Carr
Universidad de Guanajuato
Marko, there has been much written on the overlapping interests of phenomenology and embodied cognition. Some of the main sources have already been mentioned on this thread. You may find some useful literature (after a bit of digging) in this bibliography I put together for a graduate seminar called "Art in the embodied mind:"
1 Recommendation

Popular Answers (1)

24th Jul, 2015
Esteban Sebastian Lelo de Larrea Mancera
University of California, Riverside
You should check out the book "The Embodied Mind" (1992) by Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson and Eleanor Rosch. The second chapter provides a historical revision of phenomenology and how it relates to cognitive science in general and to embodied cognition in particular. Also, check out Alva Nöe´s work, in particular his book "Out of our Heads"(2010) for an interesting and easy read on the subject. 
4 Recommendations

All Answers (16)

24th Jul, 2015
Esteban Sebastian Lelo de Larrea Mancera
University of California, Riverside
You should check out the book "The Embodied Mind" (1992) by Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson and Eleanor Rosch. The second chapter provides a historical revision of phenomenology and how it relates to cognitive science in general and to embodied cognition in particular. Also, check out Alva Nöe´s work, in particular his book "Out of our Heads"(2010) for an interesting and easy read on the subject. 
4 Recommendations
26th Jul, 2015
Xabier E. Barandiaran
Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea
Check out J. Petitot, F. Varela, B. Pachoud, J-M Roy eds. "Naturalizing phenomenology. Issues in contemporary phenomenology and cognitive science", Stanford University Press, Stanford (California), 1999.
3 Recommendations
27th Jul, 2015
Marko Teräs
Tampere University
Thanks for the replies so far! Varela seems to be an interesting guy in this area. I really enjoyed his attempt to bridge meditation and phenomenology to better understand and study human experience in "On Becoming Aware" (2003).
2 Recommendations
27th Jul, 2015
Luis Varela
Universidad Andrés Bello
- The embodied self: dimensions, coherence, and disorders (2010)
Thomas Fuchs, Heribert C. Sattel, Peter Henningsen, Tarik Bel-Bahar
This book is based in the joint European project DISCOS (Disorders and coherence of the Embodied Self)
2 Recommendations
27th Jul, 2015
Luis Varela
Universidad Andrés Bello
Regarding the late Francisco Javier Varela, the documentary "Montegrande: what is Life?" is highly recommended. Featured are numerous records of Varela at different ages developing ideas and explaining this inclusive step forward in Cognitive Sciences that is the notion of Enactivity.
Also featured are important scientist and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
1 Recommendation
28th Jul, 2015
Rebecca Meitlis
Royal Northern College of Music
Thank you for this question as I too would like to follow up the responces! I am a Feldenkrais practitioner and would reccomend looking into his work. There is a collection of writings called; Embodied Wisdom: The Collected Papers of Moshe Feldenkrais by Elizabeth Beringer (ISBN: 9781556439063), which is a good introduction. I have just written about how opera singers experience breathing through Feldenkrais work and drawn on Merleau Ponty to understand the nature of this experience. I'll put the link on my  profile.
1 Recommendation
28th Jul, 2015
Alfredo Pereira Junior
São Paulo State University
3 Recommendations
29th Jul, 2015
Marko Teräs
Tampere University
@Rebecca: Thanks for that perspective on this question. As a music lover/guitar player, your work in music naturally also interests me. Metal music with its various sub-genres has been an important part of my life the past 15 years or so. I was actually visioning half-seriously that after completing my current research project, I would love to experiment employing phenomenology in understanding the (embodied) experience of metal music, but then my dreams were crushed by this interesting piece below! :)
1 Recommendation
29th Jul, 2015
Heidrun Panhofer
Autonomous University of Barcelona
You may want to read Thomas Fuchs' key note speech "Body Memory and the Unconscious" in H. Panhofer & A. Ratés (Eds.) (2014), Encontrar - Compartir – Aprender. Jornadas del 10º aniversario del Máster en Danza Movimiento Terapia. Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. ISBN: 978-84-490-4421-2. (English version pp 23 - 35). 
1 Recommendation
3rd Aug, 2015
Gregory M Nixon
Independent Philosopher
There's an interesting take on these questions and more in Evan Thompson's new book, Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy (2015), though, admittedly, it doesn't touch directly on comparisons between enactive phenomenology and embodied cognition (more on what's in the title). He does cite his own experiences to a degree and this, to me, is truly embodied phenomenology.
2 Recommendations
10th Aug, 2015
David Seamon
Kansas State University
The debate is huge and some phenomenologists (like Gallagher) believe there can be some reconciliation between phenomenological and physicalist understandings, whereas others (e.g., Moran) are more doubtful. To me the most difficult difference is lived embodiment and the lived fact that so much of human behavior and life unfolds via the habitual, pre reflective body, which incorporates an precognitive awareness and intelligence having little to do with cognition. As far as the various neurological discoveries that different portions of the brain are involved with different actions and experiences, so what? That tells us little about the lived nature of human action and experience, so I'm one of the cynics who think looking for links and parallels is largely useless.
2 Recommendations
10th Aug, 2015
Marko Teräs
Tampere University
Thanks David! I'm glad that you took the time to reply to this. It sort of opens up another question: How about situated cognition then, and how would you see it to place itself? I actually began my current phenomenological research from the basis of my earlier studies in situated cognition/learning (e.g. Browns, Collins and Duguid, 1989). Would be great to hear your thoughts in this sector too.
10th Aug, 2015
David Seamon
Kansas State University
As phenomenologists, I don't think we should speak of cognition, which is a psychological word that means little experientially. Rather there is a phenomenology of thinking, considering, pondering, wondering, expecting, and so forth--but do we "cognize," not really. It's a silly scientific word that has little relationship to any lived phenomenon.
I'm much more keen on Mzerleau-Ponty and the lived body, esp. body-subject. I've written quite a number of articles on the topic, but from the perspective of environmental phenomenology. Most of these articles are posted on academia.edu which is a much better open-source website than this Researchgate, which makes one feel like a rat in a maze. I will email you the "situated cognition" paper via a separate email, though that paper in first draft form is on the academia.edu site, but it's now been published in COGNITIVE PROCESSES.
David
1 Recommendation
11th Aug, 2015
David Seamon
Kansas State University
Marko,
You haven't said what conclusions you've reached on this question? I'd be interested to know.
David Seamon
17th Dec, 2016
David Charles Wright-Carr
Universidad de Guanajuato
I'm sorry I'm late to this discussion, which seems to have wound down to a standstill over a year ago.
David, perhaps "cognition" can be useful as a broad term encompassing both conscious and unconscious processes, both of which are involved in human experience.

Similar questions and discussions

Does Stephen Hawking phenomenon contradict the premise that human being think through his whole body?
Question
37 answers
  • Domenico MasciotraDomenico Masciotra
Various perspectives, such as enactivism, phenomenology, embodied cognition, and so on, postulate that the human being thinks through his body, and not only with his brain. But what about Stephen Hawking phenomenon? His motor skills are so much reduced. My question is: Does Stephen Hawking phenomenon contradicts the premise.
Hawking's motility is indeed very small, but he can communicate with his reduced motor skills and with the help of the infrared sensor, which extends his body. So my question: Does this reduced motility allow him to think or would he be able to think anyway even without any motility. I lean toward the former hypothesis. What is your own opinion?
ADD: my English writing is bad. Just in case, I wanted to say that I lean toward the first hyothesis stating that Stephen Hawking thinks through his reduced motility, and so I don't lean toward the second hypothesis. 
How can you take or recommend a view or approach that will NEVER have any direct evidence?
Question
23 answers
  • Brad JesnessBrad Jesness
How can you take or recommend a view or approach that will NEVER have any direct evidence?
Article The poverty of embodied cognition (full text at: link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13423-015-0860-1 Add the https:// yourself, so RG does not hijack the link AND DIRECT YOU TO JUST THE ABSTRACT)
See also my Comments below the Project "declaration" (seen in the very top of this post).
** FOOTNOTE: This is to such an extent, that "embodiment 'theory'" or "enactivism" will technically NEVER be able to present an acceptable [scientific] hypothesis. Good approaches do a LOT of clear hypothesizing.

Related Publications

Conference Paper
Full-text available
Designing for kinaesthetic awareness, the perception of our body's position and movement, presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. While these implications are relatively new in the HCI community, they resonate with experiential knowledge from somatic practices and theories in embodied cognition. Still, moving is an interactive sound...
Got a technical question?
Get high-quality answers from experts.