Sheets-Johnstone, Maxine:
THE PRIMACY OF MOVEMENT (John Benjamins, 1981)

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Sheets-Johnstone has a good point: scientists tend to focus on the input (perception) and neglect the output (action). Most models of the mind have been built by concentrating on perception: how the world is perceived by the mind. Very little is usually said on how the mind acts on the world. But action (which he consistently calls "movement") is no less important a part of our experience. It was a point already made by French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, whose philosophy in fact recurs throughout the book. Sheets-Johnstone (never gifted as a writer) basically Sheets-Johnstone retraces Merleau-Ponty's philosophy, claiming that thinking is modeled on the body and grounded in animate form. The "tactile-kinesthetic body" is the source of corporeal concepts. All our cognitive life is grounded in movement. Consciousness does not arise from matter, but from self-movement. Even the simplest forms of life enjoy a "meta-corporeal consciousness of the chemical constitution of the environment".

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