Mind in Nature
John Dewey, Cognitive Science, and a Naturalistic Philosophy for Living
288 pp., 6 x 9 in, 1 color illus.
- Published: March 28, 2023
A dialogue between contemporary neuroscience and John Dewey's seminal philosophical work Experience and Nature, exploring how the bodily roots of human meaning, selfhood, and values provide wisdom for living.
The intersection of cognitive science and pragmatist philosophy reveals the bodily basis of human meaning, thought, selfhood, and values. John Dewey's revolutionary account of pragmatist philosophy Experience and Nature (1925) explores humans as complex social animals, developing through ongoing engagement with their physical, interpersonal, and cultural environments. Drawing on recent research in biology and neuroscience that supports, extends, and, on occasion, reformulates some of Dewey's seminal insights, embodied cognition expert Mark L. Johnson and behavioral neuroscientist Jay Schulkin develop the most expansive intertwining of Dewey's philosophy with biology and neuroscience to date.
The result is a positive, life-affirming understanding of how our evolutionary and individual development shapes who we are, what we can know, where our deepest values come from, and how we can cultivate wisdom for a meaningful and intelligent life.
“Can naturalism explain the transformative aspect of our lives? Mind in Nature offers a striking answer through a powerful update, in light of cognitive neuroscience, of pragmatist insights into the embodiment of human experience.”
Italo Testa, Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, University of Parma
“Johnson and Schulkin's book beautifully fills the gap on the enduring originality of John Dewey's naturalism, showing us what we can gain from Dewey when inquiring about knowledge, the self, habits, values, meaning or consciousness.”
Pierre Steiner, Professor of Philosophy, Université de Technologie de Compiègne/Sorbonne Université
“Johnson and Schulkin present a nondelusional naturalistic philosophy of animals who may indeed strut and fret their hour upon the stage, as Macbeth despaired, but whose lives are far more meaningful, purposeful, and value-rich than mere tales 'told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.'”
Steven Fesmire, author of John Dewey and Moral Imagination; editor of The Oxford Handbook of Dewey