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Embodied Cognition and Perception: Dewey, Science and Skepticism

In: Contemporary Pragmatism
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  • 1 Department of Philosophy, American University in Cairo, auc Avenue, p.o. Box 74, Cairo 11835, Egypt, crippenm@aucegypt.edu
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This article examines how Modern theories of mind remain even in some materialistic and hence ontologically anti-dualistic views; and shows how Dewey, anticipating Merleau-Ponty and 4E cognitive scientists, repudiates these theories. Throughout I place Dewey’s thought in the context of scientific inquiry, both recent and historical and including the cognitive as well as traditional sciences; and I show how he incorporated sciences of his day into his thought, while also anticipating enactive cognitive science. While emphasizing Dewey’s continued relevance, my main goal is to show how his scientifically informed account of perception and cognition combats skepticism propagated by certain scientific visions, exacerbated by commonplace notions about mind, that jointly suggest that human beings lack genuine access to reality.

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