Embodied Mind, or the Problem of the Existence of the Soul in the Philosophy of Antonio Damasio
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According to Antonio Damasio, consciousness and the sense of self consist of several hierarchically structured maps and representations. At the basic level there is a collection of neural patterns (first-order maps) that reflects the state of the organism's internal milieu. Higher mental levels re-represent this differentiation in the higher-order maps. Thus, we can speak of an embodied nature of the mind without denying its reality. To provide a background to Damasio's theory, the author raises the question about methodological frameworks. A comparison between Damasio's empirical theory and the traditional notion of the soul highlights the explanatory weakness of the latter. It pertains especially to the relationships between brain damage and changes of consciousness or the sense of self.
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