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Description - Ethical Know-How by Francisco J. Varela

How can science be brought to connect with experience? This book addresses two of the most challenging problems facing contemporary neurobiology and cognitive science: first, understanding how we unconsciously execute habitual actions as a result of neurological and cognitive processes that are not formal actions of conscious judgment but part of a habitual nexus of systematic self-organization; second, creating an ethics adequate to our present awareness that there is no such thing as a transcendental self, a stable subject, or a soul. In earlier modes of cognitive science, cognition was conceptualized according to a model of representation and abstract reasoning. In the realm of ethics, this corresponded to the philosophical tenet that to do what is ethical is to do what corresponds to an abstract set of rules. By contrast to this computationalism, the author places central emphasis on what he terms enaction cognition as the ability to negotiate embodied, everyday living in a world that is inseparable from our sensory-motor capacities.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780804730334
ISBN-10: 0804730334
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 140mm x mm)
Pages: 96
Imprint: Stanford University Press
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jun-1999
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Francisco J. Varela

Francisco J. Varela is Director of Research at the French National Research Council and head of the Laboratory of Cognitive Psychophysiology at the Hospital of the Salpetriere, Paris. The most recent of his many books co-authored or co-edited in English is (with Evan Thompson and Eleanor Rosch) The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience.

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