Merleau-Ponty on Emboided Cognition: A Phenomenological Interpretation of Spinal Cord Epidural Stimulation and Paralysis

Essays in Philosophy 17 (2):69-93 (2016)

Authors
Brock Bahler
Duquesne University
Abstract
In a study in Brain, Dr. Susan Harkema and her fellow researchers demonstrated that the input of an electronic epidural stimulator in the lower spinal cord of four completely paralyzed patients allowed them to regain voluntary movement in their toes, defying the longstanding scientific position regarding sensory and motor complete paralysis. Harkema herself admits that she thought this achievement was impossible at the outset, as she believed that the body is incapable of movement without receiving complex signals from the brain. Many cognitive neuroscientists continue to maintain this standpoint of Cartesian dualism. In response, I argue that the insights of Maurice Merleau-Ponty provide a possible explanation of the results of this new research. Merleau-Ponty insisted that I am my body and that the body has its own kind of knowledge about the world. This framework serves as the backdrop for recent phenomenological studies in cognitive neuroscience. In this vein, this essay will consider how Merleau-Ponty’s account of embodiment provides an ample model for explaining the findings of Susan Harkema’s current spinal cord research.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.7710/1526-0569.1557
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,883
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Pain and Phantom Sensation in Spinal Cord Paralysis.C. D. Burke & I. M. Woodward - 1969 - In P. Vinken & G. Bruyn (eds.), Handbook of Clinical Neurology. North Holland. pp. 26--489.
Stem Cell Spinal Cord Regeneration: First Do No Harm.M. Legge & L. M. Jones - 2008 - Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (12):838-839.
Intrascendibilità dell’esperienza e atteggiamento naturale in Merleau-Ponty.Rocco Sacconaghi - 2011 - Annali Della Facoltà di Lettere E Filosofia 64 (3):165-182.
Limits of Life and Death: Legallois's Decapitation Experiments. [REVIEW]Tobias Cheung - 2013 - Journal of the History of Biology 46 (2):283-313.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-07-10

Total views
4 ( #1,097,083 of 2,266,258 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #596,389 of 2,266,258 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature