Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
The intent of this thesis is to provide an account of the phenomenology of movement that collapses the distinction between mental and physical without the elimination of the mental. There are two main ways in which mental and physical converge in this account. First of all, the type of knowledge involved in learning movement skills is a type of nonpropositional knowledge that is literally embodied in the neuromuscular system of the body. Thus the mental phenomena of knowing-how and thinking how to do movement skills are body-wide phenomena. Furthermore, this type of knowledge is genuinely self-referential, since the knower and known are identical. Second, the phenomenology of self-actuated movement reveals that the self is experienced as a psychophysical unity through the experience of the coherence of action and the proprioception of that action. This is due to the sense of effort provided by sensorimotor integration of the peripheral nervous system. This sense of effort is the direct awareness of physical properties of muscle lengths, tensions, and speeds of contraction, and is thus a genuine psychophysical phenomenon. It is also argued that we enjoy a high degree of epistemic security regarding experiences of this type.
action, movement, nonpropositional knowledge, phenomenology, proprioception
1, iii, 147 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 145-147).
Copyright 2010 Wendy S Scholz