SAAP Annual Meeting 2013

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Beyond Embodiment: John Dewey and the Integrated Mind

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Joshua Skorburg
University of Toledo
United States

In Philosophy in the Flesh, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson identify Maurice Merleau-Ponty and John Dewey as the “two greatest philosophers of the embodied mind.” This paper considers the extent to which it is profitable to cast Dewey in this light. My argument runs as follows: Although Dewey was certainly a first-rate embodied mind theorist, (1) the embodied mind thesis, as it is understood by contemporary philosophers of mind, does not do justice to Dewey's notion of embodiment. (2) The extended mind thesis (as formulated by Andy Clark and David Chalmers) represents a step toward more fully capturing Dewey's notion of embodiment. (3) Ultimately, it is the integrated mind thesis (formulated by Richard Menary as a “second-wave” extended mind argument) which provides the proper framework for understanding Dewey's robust notion of embodiment, and his continuing relevance to 21st century philosophy of mind.


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