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Embodiment, Learning and Risk – Module 26





Previous study of four SPoR Modules




This module stands in contrast to the dis-embodied view of the world as espoused in risk and safety. The module has close connections to the module on Holistic Ergonomics.


The risk and safety world are dominated by worldviews (Behaviourism, Positivism) that understand the human person as a brain on a carcass. This brain-centric view understands the brain as a computer. Such a metaphor is mythology that dominates and misleads people in thinking about persons. Similarly, the eye and human perception is nothing like the function of a camera. Both metaphors mislead risk and safety to activities that don’t work.


This module elevates the importance of the body in relation tom living, being and risk.


In all this recent clamouring for Psychosocial Safety there is simply no focus on the nature of the whole person. The idea of the ‘whole person’ is assumed to be known (using the behaviourist/engineering lens) thinking that the recent codes of practice and standard ISO 45003 will help establish Psychosocial Safety. The codes even name psychosocial health as a ‘hazard’


However, the philosophy that underpins the codes and standard never discuss the ‘whole person’. Indeed, nowhere in safety will you find a discussion on an ethic of Personhood. Similarly, many texts in safety on leadership also endorse the behaviourist/engineering worldview. Most of the stuff circulating in safety branded as neuroscience is NOT about neuroscience.


There are other worldviews than the safety worldview. This module examines the value of the SPoR worldview of the embodied person.


Required text


Lakoff, G., and Johnson, M., (1980). Metaphors We Live By.  University of Chicago Press.  Chicago.


Lakoff, G., and Johnson, M., (1999).  Philosophy in the Flesh, The Embodied Mind and Its Challenges to Western Thought.  Basic Books, New York.


Claxton, G., (2015) Intelligence in the Flesh. Yale University Press. New York.


Fuchs, T., (2016)  Intercorporeality and Interaffectivity

Videos Lectures




Learning Outcomes


BY the conclusion of this module participants will learn:


  • The nature of – mind/Mind, discourse/Discourse – Language/Linguistics
  • What is Embodiment? What is the body for? Listening to Discourse
  • The predominance of dis-embodiment, brain-centrism in risk and safety
  • Metaphors, models, machines and mortality
  • Why learning is not learning unless it is embodied
  • The dance of resonance is to being embodied
  • 1B3M more than a concept, holistic being
  • WS, HS, GS – Visual, Verbal, Embodied Enactment
  • Embodied Method, Disembodied systems
  • Dialectic – Cognition-Rationality-Faith-Evidence-Experience
  • Who is the fallible person? What is personhood? Socialitie-Communitie
  • Why does it matter for risk? Psychosocial risk? Safety silences?
  • How to use practical tools to examine activity as either embodied or disembodied
  • Understand body, muscle and social memory
  • The nature of performance and embodied ritual




The best way to envision the content of this module is not through text but rather semiotically. The following map identifies all that this module considers:





You are expected to keep a journal (A4 if possible) of reflections particularly in relationship to reading the readings and making visits on a related semiotic walk.

Your journal is a thinking, documenting, reflecting book where you use the visual and spacial literacy tools provided in previous units (and experience from the unit on Semiotics) to interrogate space and place and how these relate to following-leading. The key questions for thinking are on the visual and spacial literacy tool.

Your journal can include: photos, floor diagrams, concept mapping, sketches, dot points, flyers, pictures, notes, Venn diagrams, images of semiotics, concept maps, doodles, notes on words, slogans and text or any form of input that helps show how you think and reflect on what you saw.

The purpose of the journal is for you to demonstrate your skill in interrogating place and place and how this defines philosophy.

All philosophy (methodology) is displayed in method, design and the physical world. Eg. Architecture as a philosophy is evident in design, art, music, theatre, literature and the Poetics of Space.

Your journal needs to be posted to Rob at 10 Jens Place Kambah ACT 2902 or







CLLR maintain a dropbox readings account where all readings relevant to studies can be accessed.


Reading List


  • Claxton, G., (2009) The Wayward Mind, An Intimate History of The Unconscious. London.
  • Claxton, G., (2015) Intelligence in the Flesh. Yale University Press. New York.
  • Colombetti, G., The Feeling Body, Affective Science Meets the Enactive Mind. MIT Press, London.
  • Damasio, A., (1994) Descartes’ Error, Emotion, Reason, and The Human Brian. Penguin, New York.
  • Damasio, A., (1999) The Feeling of What happens, Body and Emotions in the Making of Consciousness. Harvest Books, New York.
  • Damasio, A., (2003) Looking for Spinoza, Joy, Sorrow and the Feeling Brain. Harvest Books. New York.
  • Damasio, A., (2010) Self Comes to Mind, Constructing the Conscious Brain. Pantheon Books. New York.
  • Damasio, A., (2018) The Strange Order of Things, Life, Feeling and the Making of Cultures. Pantheon Books. New York.
  • Damasio, A., (2021) Feeling and Knowing, Making Minds Conscious. Pantheon Books. New York.
  • Durt, C., Fuchs, T., and Tews, C., (eds.) (1997) Embodiment, Enaction, and Culture. MIT Press. London.
  • Fuchs, T., (2016) Intercorporeality and Interaffectivity

  • Fuchs, T., (2018) Ecology of the Brain, The Phenomenology and Biology of the Embodied Mind. Oxford University Press. London.
  • Fuchs, T., (2021) In Defense of the Human Being Foundational Questions of an Embodied Anthropology. Oxford University Press. London.
  • Ginot, E., (2015) The Neuropsychology of the Unconscious, Integrating Brain and Mind in Psychotherapy. New York.
  • Johnson, M., (1987) The Body in Mind, The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination and Reason. University of Chicago Press.
  • Johnson, M., (2007) The Meaning of the Body, Aesthetics of Human Understanding. University of Chicago Press.
  • Johnson, M., (2014) Morality for Humans, Ethical Understanding from the Perspective of Cognitive Science. University of Chicago Press.
  • Johnson, M., (2017) Embodied Mind, Meaning and Reason. How Our Bodies Give Rise to Understanding. University of Chicago Press.
  • Lakoff, G., and Johnson, M., (1980). Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press.
  • Lakoff, G., and Johnson, M., (1999). Philosophy in the Flesh, The Embodied Mind and Its Challenges to Western Thought.  Basic Books, New York.
  • Macknik, S., and Martinez-Conde, S., (2010) Sleights of Mind, What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions. Henry Holt Co., New York.
  • Meyer, C., Streeck, J., and Jordan, J. S., (2017). Intercorporeality, Emerging Socialities in Interaction. University of Chicago Press.
  • Noe, A., (2009) Out of Our Heads, Why You Are Not Your Brain and Other Lessons from The Biology of Consciousness. Hill and Wang. New York.
  • Norretranders, T., (1991) The User Illusion, Cutting Consciousness Down to Size. London.
  • Panksepp, J., (1998) Affective Neuroscience, The Foundations of Human Animal Emotions. Oxford University Press. London.
  • Raaven, H., (2013). The Self Beyond Itself, An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences and the Myth of Free Will. The New Press.  New York.
  • Ramachandran, V. S., (2004) A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness. PI Books, New York
  • Robinson, K., (2011). Out of Our Minds, Learning to Be Creative. London.
  • Thompson, E., (2010) Mind in Life, Biology, Phenomenology, and the Science of the Mind. Belknap Press. London.
  • Tversky, B., (2019) Mind in Motion, How Action Shapes Thoughts. Basic Books. New York.
  • Van Der Kolk, B., (2015) The Body Keeps the Score, Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma. Penguin, New York.
  • Varela, F., Thompson, E ., and Rosch, E., (1993) The Embodied Mind, Cognitive Science and Human Experience. MIT Press, London.


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