Sensing Corporeally: Toward a Posthuman Understanding

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University of Toronto Press, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 359 pages
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In Sensing Corporeally, Floyd Merrell argues that human sensation and cognition should be thought of in terms of continually changing signs that can be accounted for in terms of topological forms. Focusing on qualitative and analogical sensing, rather than quantitative and digital reasoning, Merrell begins by reflecting on the concept of consciousness as developed by neurologist Antonio Damasio, whose work in turn reflects Charles Peirce's conception of the sign. By expanding Peirce's notion of the sign in light of Damasio's work, as well as that of Oliver Sacks and the Argentine fabulist Jorge Luis Borges, Merrell demonstrates the importance of the relationship between cognition, consciousness, and fantasy. The philosophy of science espoused by Michael Polanyi, and the analytic and postanalytic philosophies of Donald Davidson, Nelson Goodman, Hilary Putnam, and Richard Rorty are also explored in light of what they bring to Peircean concepts of vagueness and generality, inconsistency and incompleteness, and abduction, induction, and deduction. Merrell concludes by moving to the conceptual world of biologist Jakob von Uexküll and his Umwelt

Merrell aims to overcome linear, mechanical thinking by underlining the role of the body and, in turn, the role of feeling and sensing, in the development of cognitive processes. Sensing Corporeally is thus a forceful and timely challenge to traditional models of human understanding.

  

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Contents

Change Accompanies Corporeal Sensing
3
Becoming Conscious Becoming
16
Bodymind Flows
33
The Peircean Decalogue
52
Up and Down the Semiosic Mainstream
62
From Signification to Understanding
82
From the Pen of Jorge Luis Borges
101
Doing It Tacitly
120
Language Fixation
191
Topology at the Core
208
On What Is New
222
Maximizing the Maxim
251
Distinctly Human Umwell?
265
Space Dancing through Time
286
Notes
313
References
331

Bodymind Doing
135
When There Is Nothing on the Mind
149
Hasta la Vista Descartes
165

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References to this book

Bodies at Work
Carol Wolkowitz
Limited preview - 2006

About the author (2003)

Floyd Merrell is a professor of Theory, Semiotics, Culture, and Latin American Literature in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Purdue University.

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