1. Introduction: The Legacy of Descartes and the Mind-machine
Thinking in Āsana - Movement and Philosophy in Viniyoga, Iyengar Yoga, and Ashtanga Yoga - Matylda Ciołkosz
Matylda Ciołkosz [+]
Jagiellonian University, Kraków
Matylda Ciołkosz is scholar of religions and an Assistant Professor at the Institute for the Study of Religions, Jagiellonian University in Kraków. In her research, she explores how religious concepts and doctrines are formed under the influence of different biological and sociocultural factors. As a longtime yoga practitioner, rock climber, and musician, she is especially interested in the significance of movement practices as one of these factors. In her studies- so far focused mainly on modern yoga- she applies the methodologies of cognitive science and lingustics.
The history of modern thought produced a model of the mind as a thinking machine, and of cognition as the process the mind-machine performs. The mind is a system of interconnected virtual halls superimposed onto the neural structure of the brain. These halls take in information coming in from different sources. They also contain some information at the outset, and this default information can be supplemented and modified based on further learning. Cognition involves transforming the incoming information to produce statements of belief. Although the thinker may not always be aware of it, it is a thinking process, a rational endeavour based on the analysis of inner copies of the external world.