Political Philosophy of Mind

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Robert Hanna:

"Following the contemporary German philosopher Jan Slaby, (what) I call political philosophy of mind .. has two parts:

(i) the mind-body politic , which is an extension of the theory of what Michelle Maiese and I call the essential embodiment theory of the mind- body relation (Hanna and Maiese 2009), to the critical analysis and radical emancipatory politics of social institutions , and

(ii) the political philosophy of cognition , which is an extension of the theory of human cognition to the critical analysis and radical emancipatory politics of ideologically-driven cognitive illusions.

Here is an example of the mind-body politic:

- [The mind-body politic] fuses contemporary philosophy of mind and emancipatory political theory. On the philosophy of mind side, we draw from our own previous work on the essential embodiment theory and enactivism, together with work by Jan Slaby, John Dewey, Bourdieu, and J.J. Gibson. On the emancipatory political theory side, we draw from Kant, Schiller, Kierkegaard, early Marx, Kropotkin, Foucault, and Frankfurt School Critical Theory. We begin with the claim that human minds are necessarily and completely embodied, and inherently enactive, social, and environmentally embedded, and proceed from there to argue that social institutions partially determine and shape our essentially embodied minds, and thereby fundamentally affect our lives. Our focus is on social institutions in contemporary neoliberal societies, specifically higher education and mental health practice. We hold that although these social institutions shape our essentially embodied minds in a destructive, deforming, and enslaving way, yet it’s possible to create social institutions that are constructive, enabling, and emancipatory. According to our proposed enactive-transformative principle, enacting salient changes in the structure and complex dynamics of a social institution produces corresponding salient changes in the structure and complex dynamics of the essentially embodied minds of the people belonging to that institution. (Maiese and Hanna 2019: ch.1)"

And here is an example of the political philosophy of cognition:

- "I am deeply and fundamentally interested in explaining how memory and sense perception can be ideologically manipulated for political purposes, and also how the philosophy of cognition can be deployed to indicate and justify practical, effective cognitive strategies for resisting this manipulation and for ideological self-deprogramming and cognitive self-liberation when the manipulation has already occurred. My proposal is that the overall value of those cognitive theories will be made retrogressively manifest through their ability to provide fruitful and robust consequences for political theories and real-world political frameworks that emphasize individual and collective free agency and radical enlightenment". (Hanna 2018f)