Elvira Gravina

The continuity of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy and the research programme of Embodied Cognition shows a common interest concerning the theme of the body. Several case studies prove that the body is not just a mechanistic system; neither the mind is something “contained” within the brain. The body is a living autopoietic whole and it’s the base of my embodied experience. We are embodied subjects able to explore the world within our own limbs; thus we always transcend our body by the interactions with the environment. Embodiment is the base of our sense of feeling alive. Consequently, the basic self awareness is embodied and emerges from the whole body in relation to the world, not just to the brain. Self, as mind, is not a mental or physical entity. It is a relational entity, a living whole which becomes conscious of its homeostatic regulation and its interaction with the environment. Hence, consciousness can only make the body aware of this practical knowledge. The embodied memory is the ability that makes possible this awareness thanks to the relation with Time. Without memory it is not possible to recollect all the important information and configurations about ourselves as individuals and human beings. We are temporal bodies and embodied minds in a constitutive relationship, while the Self is an interface between body and mind and between the natural world and the cultural one.

Il sé temporale
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