“Weight has first to be perceived as a physical reality – in hands and arms, not just in the brain in the skull – before it can be conceptualised and measured. The mind works through the body. To localise it exclusively within the brain is not strictly correct. Moreover, we often think not only through the body, but beyond it.”

(Renfrew, 2007, 119) cited in Malafouris (2013, 33)

 “A good deal of contemporary thinking, and probably an even greater proportion of ancient thinking, happens in interaction of brain and body with the world. This seems innocent enough and many people take it to mean simply that thinking is something that happens in the brain as a consequence of interaction with the world. That is not the claim being made here. The claim here is that, first and foremost, thinking is interactions of brain and body with the world. Those interactions are not evidence of, or reflections of, underlying thought processes. They are instead the thinking processes themselves.

(Hutchins, 2008, 2112) cited in Malafouris (2013, 38) (italics in original)

More on this later but I found these two quotes really helpful. Both are from:

Malafouris, L. (2013) How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press


About Bruce Davenport

Research associate at Newcastle University. Previously a museum educator and researcher.
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