Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

William James and the Embodied Mind

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Contemporary Pragmatism

The hard problem of consciousness lies in explaining what constitutes the subjectivity of consciousness. I argue that significant headway can be made on the problem from an embodied mind view, and particularly if we turn to William James’ theory of emotions. The challenge is one of explaining how bodily subjectivity arises from biological processes. I argue that the solution to this problem lies in our sense of interoception, and James’ theory which suggests emotional feelings are the cascade of changing bodily states. Through James’ account, I show how the biological body can give rise to a bodily subjectivity in experiential consciousness, and thus move towards a solution of the hard problem.

Affiliations: 1: Illinois State University, Campus Box 4540, Normal IL 61790


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Bermudez Jose-Luis. 1995. “"Transcendental Arguments and Psychology: The Example of O’Shaughnessy on Intentional Action",” Metaphilosophy Vol 26 (4): 379401.
2. Bermudez Jose-Luis. 1998. The paradox of self-consciousness . Cambridge: mit Press.
3. Cameron Oliver G. 2001. “"Interoception: the inside story—a model for psychosomatic processes",” Psychosomatic Medicine Vol 63: 698.
4. Chalmers David. 1995. “"Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness",” Journal of Consciousness Studies Vol 2 (3): 200219.
5. Christoff Kalina,, Cosmelli Diego,, Legrand Dorothée,, and Thompson Evan. 2011. “"Specifying the self for cognitive neuroscience",” Trends in Cognitive Sciences Vol 15 (3): 104112.
6. Craig A.D. 2002. “"How do you feel? Interoception: the sense of the physiological condition of the body",” Nature Reviews Neuroscience Vol 3: 655666.
7. Craig A.D. 2003. “"A new view of pain as a homeostatic emotion",” Trends in Neuroscience Vol 26 (6): 303307.
8. Craig A.D., 2008. “"Interoception and Emotion: a Neuroanatomical Perspective",” In The Handbook of Emotions, 3rd Edition , edited by Lewis Michael,, Haviland-Jones Jeanette M.,, & Barrett Lisa Feldman, (New York: Guilford Press), pp. 272273.
9. Craig A.D. 2010. “"The sentient self",” Brain Structure and Function Vol 214: 563577.
10. Crippen Matthew. 2014. “"Body phenomenology, somaesthetics and Nietzschean themes in Medieval art",” Pragmatism Today Vol 5 (2): 4045.
11. Crippen Matthew,. 2016. “"Dewey, Enactivism and Greek Thought",” In Pragmatism and Embodied Cognitive Science: From Bodily Intersubjectivity to Symbolic Articulation , edited by Madzia Roman, and Jung Matthias, (Berlin: De Gruyer), pp. 233249.
12. Damasio Antonio. 1999. The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness . Orlando: Harcourt Books.
13. Gallagher Shaun. 2003. “"Bodily self-awareness and object perception",” Theoria et Historia Scientiarum: International Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies Vol 7 (1): 5368.
14. Gallagher Shaun. 2005. How the Body Shapes the Mind . Oxford: Clarendon Press.
15. Gallagher Shaun,. 2009. “"Philosophical antecedents of situated cognition",” In The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition , edited by Robbins Philip, and Aydede Murat (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 3552.
16. Held Richard,, and Hein Alan. 1963. “"Movement-produced stimulation in the development of visually guided behavior",” Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology , Vol 56 (5): 872876.
17. Husserl Edmund,. 1954. The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy, trans. Carr by David, (reprinted, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970).
18. James William. 1884. “"What is an Emotion?”" Mind. Vol 9 (34): 188205.
19. James William. 1890. The Principles of Psychology ,Vol 2 volumes (reprinted, New York: Dover Publications, 1950).
20. James William. 1894. “"The Physical Basis of Emotions",” Psychological Review. Vol 1 (5): 516529.
21. Kühle Lana. 2014. “"Embodiment and Subjectivity—the Origins of Bodily Self-Awareness".” Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Toronto.
22. Krueger Joel,. 2014. “"Dewey’s Rejection of the Emotion/ Expression Distinction".” In Neuroscience, Neurophilosophy and Pragmatism: Brains at Work with the World. Edited by Solymosi Tibor, and Shook John, (New York, Palgrave Macmillan), 140161.
23. Legrand Dorothée. 2006. “"The Bodily Self: The sensori-motor roots of pre-reflective self-consciousness".” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Vol 5 (1): 89118.
24. Legrand Dorothée. 2007. “"Pre-reflective self-consciousness: On being bodily in the world".” Janus Head Vol 9 (2): 493519.
25. Legrand Dorothée. 2007. “"Subjectivity and the body: Introducing basic forms of self-consciousness".” Consciousness and Cognition Vol 16 (3): 57782.
26. Martin M.G.F., 1995. “"Bodily Awareness: A Sense of Ownership".” In The Body and The Self . Edited by Bermudez Jose-Luis,, Marcel Anthony,, and Eilan Naomi (Cambridge: mit Press).
27. Merleau-Ponty Maurice,. 1945. Phenomenology of Perception . Translated by Landes Donald A. (Paris: Editions Gallimard; reprinted New York: Routledge, 2012).
28. Nagel Thomas. 1974. “"What is it like to be a bat?”" Philosophical Review Vol 83: 435450.
29. O’Shaughenessy Brian,. 1995. “"Proprioception and the Body Image".” In The Body and The Self . Edited by Bermudez Jose-Luis,, Marcel Anthony,, and Eilan Naomi (Cambridge: mit Press).
30. Prinz Jesse J. 2003. Emotional perception . New York: Oxford University Press.
31. Prinz Jesse,. 2004. “"Embodied Emotions".” In Thinking about feeling: contemporary philosophers on emotions . Edited by Solomon Robert C. (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
32. Romdenh-Romluc Komarine. 2011. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Merleau-Ponty and Phenomenology of Perception . Abingdon: Routledge.
33. Rowlands Mark. 2010. The New Science of the Mind: From Extended Mind to Embodied Phenomenology . Cambridge: mit Press.
34. Shapiro Lawrence. 2011. Embodied Cognition . Abingdon: Routledge.
35. Sherrington Charles S. 1906. The Integrative Action of the Nervous System . New Haven: Yale University Press.
36. Thompson Evan. 2007. Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind . Cambridge: Belknap Press of hup.
37. Varela Francisco J.,, Thompson Evan,, and Rosch Eleanor. 1991. The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience . Cambridge: mit Press.
38. Zajonc R.B.,, Murphy Sheila T.,, and Inglehart Marita. 1989. “"Feeling and Facial Efference: Implications of the Vascular Theory of Emotions",” Psychological Review Vol 96 (3): 395416.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Contemporary Pragmatism — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation