JBSP Online: Book review – Ecology of the Brain by Thomas Fuchs

journal update

Alfonsina Scarinzi’s review of Thomas Fuchs’ Ecology of the Brain for the JBSP, online in advance of the paper edition.

Alfonsina Scarinzi – Book Review: ‘Ecology of the Brain. The Phenomenology and Biology of the Embodied Mind by Thomas Fuchs’ [Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2018]. (Review originally published online: 27 May 2019).

Opening paragraph: Ecology of the Brain is a contribution to the literature of at least four intellectual communities within philosophy and the cognitive sciences: embodiment, neuroscience, enactivism and phenomenology. In this book, Thomas Fuchs challenges the view of the brain as an information-processing machine that performs computational tasks and constructs in its networks an inner world creating our subjective experience. Brain-centered approaches to the human being reduce us, Fuchs argues, to our neural processes, neglecting the role of our being-in-the-world and being-with-others as living and lived body. In making the point that subjectivity is not a mere product of our brain activity, Fuchs suggests a novel view of the brain, considering it an organ of potentialities and interrelations that mediates interactions, rather than an organ of mental representations. His main thesis is that all the brain’s functions are dependent on the human person’s unity as a living organism interacting with the environment. Accordingly, all higher brain functions presuppose the human being’s enactment of life in a shared social world.

Full article: https://doi.org/10.1080/00071773.2019.1622492

Alfonsina Scarinzi, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Göttingen, Germany

Accessing the JBSP Online
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Only a few days left until the JBSP’s 50th Anniversary Conference (2019) – and registration is still open to attend. In celebration of Volume 50 of the JBSP, the British Society for Phenomenology is running a three-day conference, examining the contribution of Heidegger’s Schwarze Hefte (Black Notebooks) to an understanding of the question of the history of being. See the JBSP anniversary conference homepage for more details.
And also, only a few days left for the Call for Papers for the British Society for Phenomenology’s 2019 Annual Conference. The conference is to be held in Manchester, UK from Thursday 5 – Saturday 7 September 2019. The CfP runs until Friday 31 May 2019 (midnight BST). For more details – including keynote speakers – see the BSP 2019 Annual conference homepage.