— cognitive science and the Alexander Technique

Francisco Varela and The Gesture of Awareness: a new direction in cognitive science and its relevance to the Alexander Technique

Affiliations: Université de Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne and CREA, École Polytechnique

Postal address for correspondence: Rachel Zahn, 6 rue Greffulhe, 75008 Paris, France



This paper converts the Oxford participatory lecture (2004) into a participatory reading experience which respects the psychophysical difficulties often encountered in reading or listening to theoretical discussions. This participatory process will have three components: psychophysical basic practice, intellectual experimentation, and social interaction. In particular, I am interested in finding a way to integrate intellectual concepts into an easily liveable experience. The act of reading will emphasize the problem of integrating language (the main intellectual tool we use for organizing our thinking experience) and our ongoing practice of the Alexander Technique.

I will show the relationship between the Alexander Technique and modern theories of consciousness. I hope that you will find, as I do, that something special is afoot, something very similar to the climate in which philosophers and scientists attempted to validate Alexander's work during the first half of the twentieth century.

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