Embodied Appearance Properties

Embodied Appearance Properties

The traditional approach in cognitive sciences holds that cognition is a matter of manipulating abstract symbols following certain rules. According to this view, the body is merely an input/output device, which allows the computational system (the brain) to acquire new input data by means of the senses and to act in the environment following its commands. In opposition to this classical view, defenders of embodied cognition (EC) stress the relevance of the body in which the cognitive agent is embedded in their explanation of cognitive processes.
Representationalism is the view that maintains that the phenomenal character of experience is wholly determined by its representational content. I will argue that, if representationalism is true, then consciouness constitutively depends on bodily activity beyond that of the brain.
In spite of being one of the most appealling theories, the empirical evidence in favor of the possibility of shifted spectrum without misrepresentation seriously jeopardizes the representationalist project. Shomaker has shown that the introduction of appearance properties reconciles the representationalist view with this evidence and Egan has shown that we should think of appearance properties as centered features or self-ascribed properties: the content of the experience is de se.
I argue that the claim that the content of the experience is de se perfectly matches
the phenomenological observation and helps explaining the subjective character of the experience. Furthermore, I argue that entertaining this kind of content constitutively depends on bodily activity. Consequently, insofar as cognition depends on consciousness, cognition is embodied.

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