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IS FEELING A PHENOMENON OF THE BODY OR THE BRAIN?
What do animals feel?
How do living systems become conscious?
Taking Heart and Making Sense takes on these and many more questions about the natural world and human experience, helping us to understand our feelings and emotions, and our sense of meaning in life.
Taking Heart and Making Sense takes readers on a conceptual adventure across many disciplines, presenting contemporary theories about feeling and emotion by major researchers in psychology, philosophy and cognitive science. Lindgaard points out themes as well as problems in these theories, and frames them in relation to our fundamental concepts about the world. Solving these problems requires nothing less than a profound shift in worldview.
This new worldview is based on the concepts of change, process and relation. It supports coherent explanations of feeling, consciousness and life itself. Feeling is understood as an inner sensing that arises from the whole body. Human beings are seen as unique and individualised as well as deeply interconnected, with each other and with the natural world.
This perspective stands as an alternative to prevalent views in contemporary neuroscience, which characterise consciousness as an isolated hallucination or a direct effect of neural processes alone, and feeling as a meaningless by-product of homeostasis. Taking Heart and Making Sense contends instead that consciousness emerges first as feeling at the level of the whole body.
Feeling is a mode of understanding in and with the whole body in the world.
“This book fills a huge gap in our understanding of ourselves and our relations to others, including the rest of nature, by showing the place and central role of feeling.
Reviving, but going beyond work of phenomenologists and the work of Susanne Langer that had been sidelined by analytic philosophy and the rise of structuralism and poststructuralism, the book examines embodiment, pre-conscious experience, emotions, consciousness, the nature and role of metaphors in cognition and the relationship between biology and culture, showing the central place of feeling in all these. In doing so it examines and gives a place to pre-conscious experience and implicit memory, the development of feeling in children, and the role of the ‘sense of fit’, not only in humans, but in the orientation and cognition of animals.
The book engages with developments biology and biosemiotics, building on the work of hierarchy theorists to challenge mainstream reductionist science. This is a major contribution to the development of a process-relational metaphysics and world-view accessible to the general reader while making significant contributions to a number of academic disciplines.” — Dr Arran Gare
PART 1: CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES
- From emotion concepts to embodied cognition
- The co-creation of experience and understanding
- Dynamic and structure
PART 2: THEORIES OF NATURE
- Beyond the dynamics of dualism
- Speculative philosophy and a new naturalism
- Developing processes and ordering relations
- Genes, cells and signs
PART 3: BEHAVIOUR, EMOTION AND FEELING
- Behaviour as best fit
- Nonconscious behaviour and implicit memory
- The sense of fit
PART 4: HUMAN EXPERIENCE
- The biology and culture of interactions
- Infant development and differentiated feeling
- Unique, individual metaphors
- The creativity of consciousness