Embodied Consciousness

I just happened across "Out of Our Heads" by Alva Noe, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkley. What a fantastic, accessible read. This all resonates so completely for me. In short, Noe proposes a theory of consciousness as embodied experience, achieved through a combination of perception of and interaction with stimuli in the external world. He moves the discussion of conscious experience past a brain-centric view to one in which the broader domains of body, immediate and extended physical and social contexts are equally important. Brain function alone is insufficient to explain consciousness. We have evolved within physical and social contexts and are therefore uniquely equipped to perceive, interact with and interpret the world we inhabit. While there's clearly still a place for the detailed theories about specific cognitive and linguistic functions, Noe's rejection of a purely intellectualist approach to cognition, language and consciousness feels coherent and meaningful. As a speech language pathologist, neurolinguistic and psycholinguistic models gave structure to the evaluation process, but seemed artificial, rigid and disconnected from the reality of the lives of people when it came to treatment planning. Intervention always needed to start with the individual in context. Only by putting together an individual and their changed neurological system with their full physical and social context was there potential for making meaningful change in lived experience.