About this Research Topic
Psychology has continued to formulate and refine a variety of paradigms to provide solutions for the mind-body problem. Although a number of contemporary psychologists believe they have avoided dualism by noting the close relationship between certain brain activities and certain cognitive events, it appears likely that such a relationship will soon be discovered for all mental events. Replacing the term mind-body with the term mind-brain does little to solve the problem of how the brain can cause something mental. The current popularity of paradigms in psychology, including cognitive psychology, remains bound by the traditional metaphysics founded in subject-object dichotomy, such as the current scientific trends. These paradigms bring the mind-body problem back into psychology— “not that it ever completely disappeared.”
It appears that we cannot help separating mind from body in Western philosophical dogma. To understand the integrated nature of the mind and body, we have recognized that the mind, as a function of the brain, is essentially embodied. But embodiment is somewhat radical because it claims that embodiment may occur automatically and is not simply another factor acting on an otherwise disembodied cognitive processes. Our idea of what “cognition” involves is utterly changed. Considering that humans must use external tools to solve problems, any account of human cognition must incorporate such intentional tool-using processes into its models of environmental adaptation. In the traditional ecological paradigm and embodied cognitive science, affordance (i.e., possibilities for action which are available for an agent to perceive directly and act upon) is nested in environment, but now the question is, what could make the outer affordance available? After all, embodied cognitive science can cope with the immediately present environment but not with the absence. Much of what others have characterized as skilled activities is regarded as “higher” or “lower” cognition which responds to affordances. In philosophical framework, intentionality can be defined as a power of minds that simultaneously coordinates with multiple affordances. Exploring potential mechanisms that are responsible for intentionality would open up new avenues for developing alternative paradigms of psychology on differing assumptions regarding the relationship among mind, body and environment.
This Research Topic welcomes submissions focused on empirical, methodological issues as well as opinion or perspectives from a wide range of domains involving how embodied cognitive processes contribute to the adaption to a given environment with intentionality, including, but not limited to, cognitive psychology, philosophy/phenomenology, ecological psychology, neuroscience, social psychology, psycholinguistics and human-computer science. We also welcome submissions dealing with the mind-body integration in terms of the debates between Eastern and Western philosophy, such as for example philosophical papers (reviews or comments), or empirical cross-cultural papers using paradigms inspired by embodied cognition to investigate how cultures influence perception and cognition.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.