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embodiment

Embodiment is the way in which human (or any other animal's) psychology arises from the brain's and body's physiology. Although it is centered on the process of autopoiesis and whether autopoietic networks other than those evolved to do so, can have what is called cognition?, it also has social and political implications:

the science


Cognitive science, ontogeny?, ontogenetics?, chaos theory? and cognitive notions of entropy - see law of nature - are sometimes involved in embodiment theory.

Some believe that a rejection of the entire mechanistic paradigm and The Enlightenment? ideals is implied by an embodiment perspective. However, others assert that by starting with the periodic table? as perceived by Genus Homo's cognitive means, and perhaps with quantum mechanics? and electromagnetic wave?s as seem to be involved in cellular regeneration, one is eventually bound to discover that general relativity? is a consequence of embodiment and how the naturally-evolved mind must work, rather than the mind being itself a consequence of some mechanism. Thusly:

Embodiment is usually thought to be not compatible with non-cognitive constructs such as particle physics or string theory, which attempt to practice greedy reductionism.
Embodiment does not contest the mechanistic view that the basic chemical elements of reality can be perceived objectively.

names and categories


Non-biological embodiment theory is concerned with the way the adaptive function of categorization works, and how things acquire names. For instance how naming conventions come to be, and how they are applied, and how the categories that are accepted within a human group also come not to be objected to.

Embodiment also allows for some postmodern means to deal with non-falsifiable statements, beyond strictly cognitive limits. It allows in other words for imaginative rationality and to social and political questions prefers the standard of hermaneutic reasonableness? to any scientific rationality?. On this point it rejects Hobbes very clearly.

Postmodern methods of distraction in particular, e.g. lying and blaming?, can be explained easily by embodiment theory: they are aspects of an adaptive doctrine? that works for Genus Homo and can be observed as part of this genus' adaption, e.g. "Cat did it?". The Guardian syndrome? may require priveleged liar?s to exist and there is a question of how they are selected but not a Categorical Imperative? never to use one's fellows as means. On this point it strongly contradicts Immanual Kant?.

the politics


In politics and economics "the embodiment" view (so named to contrast The Enlightenment? and the views of Immanual Kant? and Thomas Hobbes? in particular) implies a degree of relativism and respect for diversity? of different cognitions, but one that tails off somewhat as the cognition becomes dissimilar. For instance, a corporation whose embodiment is nothing like a human being's, should have no rights, while a Great Ape? should have all rights. Empathy in particular is more prized than intelligence.

The Moral Politics of embodiment are thus those of family role model?s and right versus right?, not "right versus wrong". An ethic and the political virtues may be a weak ontology but it's all that can be agree to.

Similarly, use or abuse of living things is important in theory: Embodiment and sustainability thinking are thought to dovetail strongly.

Also anarchist? thought has been pivotal to embodiment theorists, especially for focusing on use value? and affordance? in its economics, and not the usual supply and demand metaphor? of a commodity market - which makes many contractarian assumptions. Thus:

in organizations


An embodiment politics rejects commodity relations, seeks service economy models, and emphasizes the usefulness of trolling the mechanistic paradigm wherever it is over-applied. It may imply resistance to any single command hierarchy especially where it imposes the commodity contract?, and most especially on human labour. It is probably morally decisive only on these points. It is not afraid to kill the big bugs in the kitchen, but prefers to do it by driving them to suicide? or at least to resign their posts.

A political party based on embodiment assumptions might be less inclined for instance to hire fulltime staff or an Executive Director, and more inclined to have co-leader? or consul positions. It would have to assume that a single person would be making choices based on their own bodily self-interest? and not that of the group: only when expressed as dialogue between multiple part-time? workers or volunteers, or two persons sharing a responsibility ( e.g. in unanimity minus two? consensus decision making, the responsibility of the dissent?) is there likely to be an actual organizational bias?. On all other questions the bias is to the personal and the bodily interest.

In other words, no participatory culture is possible unless equal power relationships are at the very base of the pyramid of roles and responsibilities. If a single person takes on themselves any one unshared responsibility, then, soon, others do that, and the effect is like curdled milk?: to avoid blame? or loss of power, all of the power is divided up among persons not among dialogues. The amount of trust required to hold the structure together is minimized, however, at the expense of its transparency and adaptive? capacity.


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