Human Movement: In Search of Borderlands Between Philosophy and Physics

in Kinesiology Review
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  • 1 Department of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA
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In this essay, we adopt a theory of behavior developed by the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty in an attempt to find common ground between philosophy and physics. We look for ways to reconcile matter with meaning, physical motion with the principles of ethics, body with mind. We proceed in three steps, first by providing a review of Merleau-Ponty’s theory; second by showing how ethical behavior is constrained and shaped by factors found in physics, chemistry, and biology; and, finally, by describing how physical motion is affected by factors that transcend the laws of classical physics. For the latter purpose, we accept a theory of parametric control of movements with spatial referent coordinates. Our purpose is not to solve specific problems of motor control or moral decision making but, rather, to test a general theoretical scheme that carries a number of practical implications for both research and education, including the need for collaboration between and among diverse research subdisciplines in kinesiology.

Kretchmar (rsk1@psu.edu) is corresponding author, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9242-5724

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