The embodied mind and interactionism constituting cognitive architecture in the Anatomy can be disengaged from the black bile and its metaphors. By contrast with its humoral framing, and also by contrast with Cartesian traditions that influenced much modern philosophy and psychology, the Anatomy’s faculty psychology, and the classical and renaissance ideas Burton follows in describing how bodily states affect and are affected by thoughts, imaginings, and feelings, have direct parallels in today’s sciences of mind. Some aspects of this interactionism mark it off from the dualism that came to dominate modern philosophy and psychology until the recent emergence of cognitivist models of mind. The work of the neuroscientists Antonio Damasio and Joseph LeDoux illustrates the similarities between Burton’s account and contemporary models, particularly as they stress the involvement of affective states in all cognition and the complex interactions between felt states and brain activities. If these contemporary models have currency, then Burton’s very similar system deserves our attention.
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