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The Circularity of the Embodied Mind.

Authors
  • Fuchs, Thomas1
  • 1 Phenomenological Psychopathology and Psychotherapy, Psychiatric Clinic, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany. , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
Volume
11
Pages
1707–1707
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01707
PMID: 32903365
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

From an embodied and enactive point of view, the mind-body problem has been reformulated as the relation between the lived or subject body on the one hand and the physiological or object body on the other ("body-body problem"). The aim of the paper is to explore the concept of circularity as a means of explaining the relation between the phenomenology of lived experience and the dynamics of organism-environment interactions. This concept of circularity also seems suitable for connecting enactive accounts with ecological psychology. It will be developed in a threefold way: (1) As the circular structure of embodiment, which manifests itself (a) in the homeostatic cycles between the brain and body and (b) in the sensorimotor cycles between the brain, body, and environment. This includes the interdependence of an organism's dispositions of sense-making and the affordances of the environment. (2) As the circular causality, which characterizes the relation between parts and whole within the living organism as well as within the organism-environment system. (3) As the circularity of process and structure in development and learning. Here, it will be argued that subjective experience constitutes a process of sense-making that implies (neuro-)physiological processes so as to form modified neuronal structures, which in turn enable altered future interactions. On this basis, embodied experience may ultimately be conceived as the integration of brain-body and body-environment interactions, which has a top-down, formative, or ordering effect on physiological processes. This will serve as an approach to a solution of the body-body problem. Copyright © 2020 Fuchs.

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