Below is a draft of a paper to be delivered to The Aristotelian Society on November 22, 2010 by Komarine Romdenh-Romluc in which she explores Merleau-Ponty's alternative conception of embodied human agency and consciouness rooted in a dynamic interaction with the environment. Enjoy:
Agency and Embodied CognitionRead More (PDF) @ The Aristotelian Society
By Komarine Romdenh-Romluc
The dominant account of agency takes actions to be brought about and guided by intentions that represent the agent’s performance of the action. Merleau-Ponty offers an alternative view that denies intentions are essential for action. He holds instead that the agent’s activity is brought about by her apprehension of her environment, without the need for any intervening thoughts that represent her performance of it. I argue that two considerations advanced in favour of the thesis that human cognition is embodied are in tension with the dominant account of agency, and speak in favour of Merleau-Ponty’s view.