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Mind in Action : Experience and Embodied Cognition in Pragmatism (Reprint) (Paperback) (Pentti
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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.