- The skillful body as a concernful system of possible actions: Phenomena and neurodynamics
- Theory and Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 18 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Interfacultary Research Institutes
- Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC)
For Merleau-Ponty, consciousness in skillful coping is a matter of prereflective `I can' and not explicit `I think that.' The body unifies many domain-specific capacities. There exists a direct link between the perceived possibilities for action in the situation (`affordances') and the organism's capacities. From Merleau-Ponty's descriptions it is clear that in a flow of skillful actions, the leading `I can' may change from moment to moment without explicit deliberation. How these transitions occur, however, is less clear. Given that Merleau-Ponty suggested that a better understanding of the self-organization of brain and behavior is important, I will re-read his descriptions of skillful coping in the light of recent ideas on neurodynamics. Affective processes play a crucial role in evaluating the motivational significance of objects and contribute to the individual's prereflective responsiveness to relevant affordances.
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