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Study information

Body and Mind

Module titleBody and Mind
Module codePHL2015
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Joel Krueger (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

In this module you will consider current debates in philosophy and cognitive science over the extent to which the mind depends upon an agent’s body and surrounding environment. Recently, many theorists have argued that mental processes depend upon structures in both the body-beyond-the-brain as well as the natural and social world. Some even argue that the boundaries of the mind literally extend beyond skin and skull. In this course you will investigate the strength and scope of these claims; you will also consider their philosophical, methodological, and empirical consequences. Course material will consist of both philosophical and empirical literature.

Questions include: In what ways does an embodied approach challenge traditional approaches in philosophy of mind and cognitive science? What is the relationship between movement, thought, and experience? How do we experience and live through our bodies? Does the mind extended beyond the head? What is an embodied approach to language? Emotion? Social cognition? Gender? Disability? Psychopathology?

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module will enhance your ability to think about what it is to be human by exploring philosophical and empirical studies of how mentality is rooted in our particular kind of embodiment. The module will challenge your thinking about the connection between mind and body, and provide new perspectives on how philosophical questions can have real-world practical implications.      

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. critique the limits of purely 'intellectualist' or 'cognitivist' biases in philosophical thinking;
  • 2. integrate interdisciplinary resources in speaking and writing about the basis of human experience and knowledge.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. demonstrate awareness of the state-of-the-art research on human cognition and experience.
  • 4. adopt an interdisciplinary approach to addressing questions in other areas of philosophy.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. develop an expanded philosophical and critical vocabulary.
  • 6. identify the role of embodiment in the performance of work-related skills and tasks.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • phenomenology and embodiment;
  • cognitive science and embodiment;
  • perception and embodiment;
  • the limits of embodiment;
  • disruptions of embodiment;
  • gender and embodiment;
  • memory and embodiment;
  • sociality and embodiment;
  • aesthetics and embodiment.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity16.511 x 1.5-hour lecture/discussions.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity1111 x weekly1 hour seminars
Guided Independent Study62.5 Assigned readings for each lecture, preparation for class discussion
Guided Independent Study60Private study, preparation for essay

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation on selected reading during tutorial 5 minutes 1-6 Verbal and written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1003,000 words1-6Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay (3,000 words)1-6August/September reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Gallagher, S. and Zahavi, D. (2008). Chapter 7: “The Embodied Mind”. In The Phenomenological Mind, Routledge, 129-151.

Heinämaa, S. (2012). “The Body.” In S. Luft and S. Overgaard (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Phenomenology, Routledge, 222-232.

Wilson, M. (2001). “Six Views of Embodied Cognition”, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 9, 625-636.

Dawson, M. (2014). “Embedded and Situated Cognition.” In L. Shapiro (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition. Routledge, 59-67.

Rowlands. M. (2010). Chapter 3: “The Mind Embodied, Embedded, Enacted, and Extended”. In The New Science of the Mind: From Extended Mind to Embodied Phenomenology, MIT Press, 51-84.

Aizawa, K. (2014). “Extended Cognition.” In L. Shapiro (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition, Routledge, 31-38.

Cole, J. (1998). “On Being Faceless: Selfhood and Facial Embodiment”, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 5-6, 467-484.

Fuchs, T., & Schlimme, J. E. (2009). “Embodiment and Psychopathology: A Phenomenological Perspective”, Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 22, 570–575.

Young, I. (1980). “Throwing Like a Girl”, Human Studies, 3, 137-156.

Merritt, M. (2014). “Making (Non)sense of Gender.” In M. Cappuccio and

T. Froese (eds.), Enactive Cognition at the Edge of Sense-Making: Making Sense of Non-Sense, Palgrave Macmillan, 285-306.

Colombetti, G. (2014). Chapter 5: “How the Body Feels in Emotion Experience.” In The Feeling Body: Affective Science Meets the Enactive Mind, MIT Press, 113-134.

Maise, M. (2014). “Body and Emotion.” In L. Shapiro (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition, Routledge, 31-38.

Gallagher, S. and Zahavi, D. (2008). Chapter 9: “How We Know Others.” The Phenomenological Mind.

Spaulding, S. (2014). “Embodied Cognition and Theory of Mind.” In L. Shapiro (ed.), The Routledge

Handbook of Embodied Cognition, Routledge, 197-206.

Menary, R. (2008). “Embodied Narratives.” Journal of Consciousness Studies, 15, 63-84.

Sutton, J. and Williamson, K. (2014). “Embodied Remembering.” In L. Shapiro (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition, Routledge, 315-325.

Krueger, J. (2014) “Affordances and the Musically Extended Mind”, Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 1-13.

Key words search

Embodied cognition, extended cognition, phenomenology, emotions, gender, psychopathology, music

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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