ISBN: 9780262367233 | 345 pp. | August 2021

Out of the Cave

A Natural Philosophy of Mind and Knowing

Plato's Allegory of the Cave trapped us in the illusion that mind is separate from body and from the natural and physical world. Knowledge had to be eternal and absolute. Recent scientific advances, however, show that our bodies shape mind, thought, and language in a deep and pervasive way. In Out of the Cave, Mark Johnson and Don Tucker—a philosopher and a neuropsychologist—propose a radical rethinking of certain traditional views about human cognition and behavior. They argue for a theory of knowing as embodied, embedded, enactive, and emotionally based. Knowing is an ongoing process—shaped by our deepest biological and cultural values. Johnson and Tucker describe a natural philosophy of mind that is emerging through the convergence of biology, psychology, computer science, and philosophy, and they explain recent research showing that all of our higher-level cognitive activities are rooted in our bodies through processes of perception, motive control of action, and feeling. This developing natural philosophy of mind offers a psychological, philosophical, and neuroscientific account that is at once scientifically valid and subjectively meaningful—allowing us to know both ourselves and the world.

Table of Contents

  1. [ Front Matter ]
  2. Preface and Acknowledgments
  3. 1. Toward a Natural Philosophy of Mind
  4. 2. The Philosophical Quest for Ultimate Knowledge
  5. 3. The Intertwining of Self and Knowledge
  6. 4. A Pragmatist Naturalistic Framework for Embodied Mind and Knowing
  7. 5. The Challenge of a Meaningful Science of Mind: The Quest for an Objective Human Science
  8. 6. Embodied Meaning and Thought
  9. 7. The Mind’s Anatomy
  10. 8. How Information Is Captured by Neural Networks
  11. 9. The Motive Control of Experience
  12. 10. What Is a Concept? The Influence of Motive Control on the Formation of Concepts and Personality
  13. 11. Abstraction, Self-Awareness, and the Subjective Basis of Knowledge
  14. 12. Outline for a Contemporary Natural Philosophy of Mind and Knowing
  15. References
  16. Index