Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 291–296 | Cite as

Zdravko Radman (ed), The Hand: an Organ of the Mind, What the Manual Tells the Mental

The MIT Press, 2013, 433pp, Hardcover, $50.00, ISBN: 9780262018845
  • Victor Loughlin

Hands undoubtedly matter. Few, I suspect, would disagree. Yet The Hand, an Organ of the Mind uses this commonplace to dispel what is termed the “intellectualist illusion” (p370), the illusion that the things we do with our hands are always and everywhere guided by an in-the-head centralised planner. Radman’s spirited collection of essays makes the point that we are not the sort of “centralised knowers” (p369) that the history of cognitive science might have us believe. Rather the manual is primary: it not only structures our encounters with the world; it is also constitutive of those encounters. We are in fact manual beings (p389).

In support of this proposal, Radman has marshaled a wealth of research from a wide range of philosophers, scientists and even artists. In particular, this collection brings to the fore how past and present phenomenological research and 4e paradigms in cognitive science (embodied mind, embedded mind, enacted mind and extended mind) all have important lessons...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Philosophical Psychology, Department of PhilosophyUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpenBelgium

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