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Paperback | $40.00 Short | £29.95 | ISBN: 9780262720212 | 328 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 34 figures| November 1992

Instructor Resources

The Embodied Mind

Cognitive Science and Human Experience


The Embodied Mind provides a unique, sophisticated treatment of the spontaneous and reflective dimension of human experience. The authors argue that only by having a sense of common ground between mind in Science and mind in experience can our understanding of cognition be more complete. Toward that end, they develop a dialogue between cognitive science and Buddhist meditative psychology and situate it in relation to other traditions such as phenomenology and psychoanalysis.

About the Authors

Francisco J. Varela (1946–2001) was Director of the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, Professor of Cognitive Science and Epistemology, CREA, at the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, and Cofounder of the Mind and Life Institute.

Eleanor Rosch is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Evan Thompson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia and author of Waking, Dreaming, Being.


“One of the main difficulties of the science of the mind is to explain how consciousness is possible without there being a transcendental Self that is the receptacle for all experience or a transcendental “I” that accompanies all experience. The Embodied Mind blends insights from cognitive neuroscience and the Buddhist theory of mind to show how consciousness is possible without any self at all! The book is tremendously helpful in sparing us the illusion that there is a “mind’s ‘I’.””
Owen Flanagan, Class of 1919 Professor, Wellesley College
“Our concern is to open a space of possibilities in which the circulation between cognitive science and human experience can be fully appreciated and to foster the transformative possibilities of human experience in a scientific culture.”
the authors
The Embodied Mind is a thoroughly original integration of cognitive science, continental philosophy, and Buddhist thought, and in its transpersonal dimension, rather beautiful.”
Gordon G. Globus , M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Philosophy, University of California, Irvine
“An important book with wideranging implications for the construction of subjectivity in the Western tradition. Moreover, it is engagingly written, presenting difficult ideas and complex research programs with grace, lucidity, and style.”
N. Katherine Hayles, American Book Review