Fuzzy Boundaries: Deep Continuities of Mind and Matter
University of Lethbridge
April 8, 2021, 3 p.m. UTC // April 8, 2021, 3 p.m. in UTC
The year 2021 marks the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s Descent of Man—the book that, as Freud described, inflicted one of the “great outrages” upon humanity’s “naïve self-love” by robbing us of the notion that we were at the centre of creation. Although this is indeed true, Darwin nevertheless adhered to a highly anthropocentric, Cartesian and, as such, non-evolutionary, view of mind. This is a view to which psychology continues to cling, despite the best efforts of Dewey, Mead, Bateson, Skinner and Gibson to divert psychology along more truly evolutionary lines. Here, I want to discuss the ways that theories of primate brain evolution, human evolutionary psychology and gene-culture co-evolution could lose their strong Cartesian tinge by incorporating recent theories of embodied and distributed cognition that place greater emphasis on material bodies, material artifacts, and material agency.