Cover Gallagher, S. 2005. How the Body Shapes the Mind.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Table of Contents

Part I: Scientific and Phenomenological Investigations of Embodiment
1 The Terms of Embodiment
2 The Case of the Missing Schema
3 The Earliest Senses of Self and Others
4 Pursuing a Phantom
5 The Body in Gesture
Part II: Excursions in Philosophy and Pathology
6 Prenoetic Constraints on Perception and Action
7 Neurons and Neonates: Reflections on the Molyneux System
8 Complex Structures and Common Dynamics of Self-Awareness
9 The Interactive Practice of Mind (Sample chapter from Oxford University Press website).
10 Before You Know It

The novelist Gabriel Josipovici writes: "Shaun Gallagher's How the Body Shapes the Mind is the best book
by a neurologist I have ever read" (see Books of the Year Symposium at ReadySteadyBook) -- not too bad
for a book written by a philosopher.


  • Dorothee Legrand. 2005. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (9): 413-14.
  • Vincent Deary. 2006. Times Literary Review 27 January 2006, p. 26.

    'Any reader wishing for an exhaustive survey of neuroscience as it relates to the question of embodiment could not wish for a better guide than Gallagher. He is a philosopher who both knows and practises the relevant science, and his syntheses of the data are convincing because they never stray too far from their empirical base. . . .This is a hugely well-informed and clearly reasoned intervention that will benefit both research and theory in the field.' - Vincent Deary, Times Literary Supplement,

  • Michael L. Anderson. 2006. Embodied Cognition: The Teenage Years Philosophical Psychology -- Online at CogPrings.
    Manuel Bremer. 2008. Minds and Machines 18 (3): 413 Š 415. Also, 2005. Metapsychology online.
  • Frederique de Vignemont. 2006. Review: How the Body Shapes the Mind. Psyche: an interdisciplinary journal of research on consciousness 12 (1).
  • Elizabeth Pacharie. 2006. Mind forthcoming.
  • Jonathan Cole. 2006. Pragmatics and Cognition forthcoming.
  • Timothy Schroeder. 2006. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. March 2006.
    "Calling Shaun Gallagher's new book a work of cognitive science is as irresistible as it is misleading. Misleading, because cognitive science is still -- for the most part -- a science of cognition alone, not the mind as a whole. And How the Body Shapes the Mind is not, for the most part, about cognition. But How the Body Shapes the Mind is very much an interdisciplinary work. It unifies clinical neurology, laboratory neuroscience, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, "analytic" philosophy of mind (think Andy Clark and Dan Dennett), and "continental" philosophy of mind (think Husserl and Merleau-Ponty), all in an effort to understand certain things about the human mind that might interest both philosophers and scientists. For having this breadth of influence and scope of ambition, Gallagher's work can hardly be called anything other than cognitive science. It is cognitive science, done the way it ought to be." (Schroeder 2006).
  • Joel Smith (In Press). Review of S. Gallagher, How the Body Shapes the Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Philosophy.

    " ... not since Merleau-Ponty's, Phenomenology of Perception has there been such an eloquent case made for the absolute centrality of the body in shaping the way in which we experience the world."

  • Tomasz Komendzinski. 2007. Eksperymentowanie z fenomenologia i wzajemne oswietlanie [Experimenting with phenomenology and mutual enlightenment] in Principia - Fenomenologii. XLVII-XLVIII: 342-348.
  • Andrea Pitasi. 2010. Descartes, Embodiment and the Post-human Horizon of Neurosciences. Constructionist Foundations 5 (2): 100-101.
  • Susan Maier-Moul. 2010. Review: How the Body Shapes the Mind. The Magazine of Yoga. (Saturday, Dec. 4. 2010).

    "Shaun Gallagher offers the dedicated reader a cure for the mind/body blues."

  • Related Interviews and Media

    RAMSØY, Thomas. 2006. An interview with Shaun Gallagher on How the body shapes the mind. Science and Consciousness Review (January 2006). (online journal).

    See a New York Times science article by John Tierney, A World of Eloquence in an Upturned Palm (28 August 2007), which cites some research that I'm doing with David McNeill and colleagues, related to Chapter 5. Download the research paper here.

    See a Boston Globe "Ideas" article by Drake Bennett, Don't just stand there, think. (13 January 2008),
    which incorporates a small piece of an interview with me on embodied cognition.

    Listen to a German Public Radio science program which incorporates parts of an interview with me by Martin Hubert. Science in Focus (Wissenschaft im Brennpunkt), a special program on The Body in the Head [Körper im Kopf] (recorded March 13, 2007 at Bochum Universität. Aired 20 January 2008). Listen: MP3 or go here and click on 'Flash'.


    Here are some papers that extend or develop issues that are explored in this book.

    Gallagher, S. 2003. Bodily self-awareness and object-perception. Theoria et Historia Scientiarum: International Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies 7: 53-68. (The original version was presented as "Non-perceptual self-awareness," Colloquium: Phenomenological and Experimental Approaches to Cognition, CREA, Paris [June 2000]) html.

    Gallagher, S. 2004. Neurocognitive models of schizophrenia: A phenomenological critique. Psychopathology 37: 8-19 (html pdf). Response by Christopher Frith, "Comments on Shaun Gallagher." Psychopathology 37 [2004]: 20-22.). (pdf)

    Gallagher, S. 2004. Understanding interpersonal problems in autism: Interaction theory as an alternative to theory of mind. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 11 (3): 199-217. (pdf)

    Gallagher, S. 2004. Les conditions corporˇitˇ et d'intersubjectivitˇ de la personne morale [Embodied and intersubjective conditions for moral personhood]. Theologiques 12 (1-2): 135-64; includes comment by S. Mansour-Robaey. Le corps, ses reprˇsentations et le statut de la personne morale. Theologiques 12 (1-2): 156-59. (pdf)

    McNeill, D., Bertenthal, B., Cole, J. and Gallagher, S. 2005. Gesture-first, but no gestures? Commentary on Michael A. Arbib. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 28: 138-39. (html)

    Gallagher, S. 2006. Perceiving others in action / La perception d'autrui en action. A lecture in the series Fondements cognitifs de l'interaction avec autrui. Coll¸ge de France (22 February 2006). (pdf)

    Here are some older papers that informed the analyses in the book.

    Gallagher, S. and Cole, J. 1995. Body Image and Body Schema in a Deafferented Subject (preprint). Journal of Mind and Behavior 16 (1995), 369-390; reprinted ," in Body and Flesh: A Philosophical Reader, ed. Donn Welton (Oxford: Blackwell), pp. 131-147.

    Gallagher, S. and Andrew Meltzoff. 1996. "The Earliest Sense of Self and Others: Merleau-Ponty and Recent Developmental Studies (preprint)," Philosophical Psychology 9, No. 2: 213-236.

    Gallagher, S. 2000 "Self-Reference and Schizophrenia: A Cognitive Model of Immunity to Error through Misidentification," in Exploring the Self: Philosophical and Psychopathological Perspectives on Self-experience, ed. Dan Zahavi. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

    Gallagher, S. (2001- preprint). The practice of mind: Theory, simulation, or primary interaction. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 8 (5-7): 83-108.