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Thinking embodiment with genetics: epigenetics and postgenomic biology in embodied cognition and enactivism

journal contribution
posted on 2021-11-01, 00:00 authored by Maurizio MeloniMaurizio Meloni, Jack ReynoldsJack Reynolds
AbstractThe role of the body in cognition is acknowledged across a variety of disciplines, even if the precise nature and scope of that contribution remain contentious. As a result, most philosophers working on embodiment—e.g. those in embodied cognition, enactivism, and ‘4e’ cognition—interact with the life sciences as part of their interdisciplinary agenda. Despite this, a detailed engagement with emerging findings in epigenetics and post-genomic biology has been missing from proponents of this embodied turn. Surveying this research provides an opportunity to rethink the relationship between embodiment and genetics, and we argue that the balance of current epigenetic research favours the extension of an enactivist approach to mind and life, rather than the extended functionalist view of embodied cognition associated with Andy Clark and Mike Wheeler, which is more substrate neutral.

History

Journal

Synthese

Volume

198

Pagination

10685-10708

Location

New York, N.Y.

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

0039-7857

eISSN

1573-0964

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

11

Publisher

SPRINGER