Précis of Mind in Life

Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (5-6):10-22 (2011)
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Abstract

The theme of this book is the deep continuity of life and mind. Where there is life there is mind, and mind in its most articulated forms belongs to life. Life and mind share a core set of formal or organizational properties, and the formal or organizational properties distinctive of mind are an enriched version of those fundamental to life. I take a twofold approach to these ideas in Mind in Life. On the one hand, I try to show that to be a living organism is physically to realize or instantiate a certain kind of self-organization - one that entails an autonomous and normative and cognitive mode of being in relation to human mind, especially various structural features of conscious experience, are constituted by self-organizing processes of the human body engaged with its environment. In this twofold way, I hope to pro-vide new resources for addressing the explanatory gap between consciousness and nature.

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Evan Thompson
University of British Columbia

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