The Embodied Mind

The Embodied Mind

Cognitive Science and Human Experience

By Francisco J. Varela, Eleanor Rosch and Evan Thompson





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.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262220422 328 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 34 figures


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262720212 328 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 34 figures


  • 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