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Bodies and Other Objects
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Book description

Bodies and Other Objects is written for students, scholars and anyone with an interest in embodied cognition - the claim that the human mind cannot be understood without regard for the actions and capacities of the body. The impulse to write this book was a dissatisfaction with the inconsistent, and often shallow, use of the term 'embodied cognition'. This text attempts to reframe cognitive science with a unified theory of embodied cognition in which sensorimotor elements provide the basis for cognition, including symbolic exchanges that arise within a society of agents. It draws ideas and evidence from experimental psychology, neuroscience, philosophy and anthropology in reaching the conclusion that human cognition is best understood as the means by which exchanges within a constantly evolving network of skilful bodies and objects are regulated so as to further human interests.


‘This great work, beautifully written, is a masterpiece that any scientist or layperson interested in what makes us human - brain, mind, sociality, culture - should read. The author integrates an embodied approach with a focus on the exchange of symbols in a material culture, setting the agenda for embodied cognitive (neuro)science in the future.'

Anna Borghi - University of Bologna, Italy

‘Ellis skilfully navigates a plethora of research to formulate a way for symbolic accounts of the mind to incorporate recent advances in embodied cognition. By grounding a philosophical approach in empirical observations and scientific data, Bodies and Other Objects offers an exciting and revolutionary theory of mind.'

Jonathan Silas - Middlesex University London

‘Timely, comprehensive, and provocative: a must-read for anybody interested in how the body shapes the mind.'

Simone Schnall - University of Cambridge

'Indeed, the book is a model of interdisciplinary synthesis and about as far from glib, silly psychology as it is possible to get.'

Louise Barrett Source: BioScience

'This book will challenge cherished philosophical positions. Not just commitment to representational cognition, but also prior conceptions of agency. As you read it you will begin to realise that perhaps the greatest challenge to our discipline is not the replication crisis, but instead a collective failure to inspect our core theoretical assumptions.'

Tom Dickins Source: The Pyschologist

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