As the global ecological, psychological, and economic crises worsen by the day, it would seem that hope for life on our planet is dimming. Luckily for us, human beings (and philosophers as a subspecies of humanity) are profoundly stupid. While it may seem counterintuitive to view our egregious befuddlement as a light at the end of the darkest of tunnels, the theoretical implications for our diminutive intellect are nontrivial. In this CogTweeto coffee hour, I willexplore some oddly hope-full implications of the death of the philosophy of mind and its tendency to misunderstand and overhype the brain and mental capacities of human beings in the context of embodied, distributed, enactive, and activist frameworks.
The project begins by identifying some strangely problematic consequences of believing that the mind/brain is a computer. I will then provide common embodied, enactive, and distributed critiques of these views that highlight their shortcomings. These critiques will conjure a path forward to a more comprehensive and reasonable theory of human living. I will conclude with a hope-full interpretation of these arguments aimed at exploring avenues for intervention. That is, ways that we can change the trajectory of human behavior and society such that some of the many catastrophic horrors of our timeline could get marginally better.
Importantly, I will argue that we needn’t change the minds of others to address these horrors, but we can focus our efforts on shaping both the structures and worlds that sustain delusional thinking
and promoting better moral habits and practices. That is, instead of trying to correct
problems of mental content, we can focus on the grounded materiality of perception and
action and upon our everyday practices and habits. I will end the presentation with some
examples of enactive approaches to education and activism that already use these