A dialogue between contemporary neuroscience and John Dewey’s seminal philosophical work Experience and Nature, exploring how the bodily roots of human meaning, selfhood, and values provide wisdom for living.
The intersection of cognitive science and pragmatist philosophy reveals the bodily basis of human meaning, thought, selfhood, and values. John Dewey's revolutionary account of pragmatist philosophy Experience and Nature (1925) explores humans as complex social animals, developing through ongoing engagement with their physical, interpersonal, and cultural environments. Drawing on recent research in biology and neuroscience that supports, extends, and, on occasion, reformulates some of Dewey's seminal insights, embodied cognition expert Mark L. Johnson and behavioral neuroscientist Jay Schulkin develop the most expansive intertwining of Dewey's philosophy with biology and neuroscience to date.
The result is a positive, life-affirming understanding of how our evolutionary and individual development shapes who we are, what we can know, where our deepest values come from, and how we can cultivate wisdom for a meaningful and intelligent life.
About the Author
Mark L. Johnson is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Oregon. He is a developer of embodied cognition theory, focusing on the philosophical implications of human embodiment for meaning, conceptualization, reasoning, values, and knowing. He has written multiple books on cognitive science and embodiment, including most recently Out of the Cave: A Natural Philosophy of Mind and Knowing (MIT Press, 2021). Jay Schulkin is Research Professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Washington. Many of his previous books in neuroscience and philosophy integrate a pragmatist and evolutionary perspective with contemporary cognitive and neural science. He has published two previous books with the MIT Press, Roots of Social Sensibility and Neural Function (2000) and Rethinking Homeostasis (2003).