Intelligence without representation – Merleau-ponty's critique of mental representation the relevance of phenomenology to scientific explanation
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1 (4):367-383 (2002)
Existential phenomenologists hold that the two most basic forms of intelligent behavior, learning, and skillful action, can be described and explained without recourse to mind or brain representations. This claim is expressed in two central notions in Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception: the intentional arc and the tendency to achieve a maximal grip. The intentional arc names the tight connection between body and world, such that, as the active body acquires skills, those skills are stored, not as representations in the mind, but as dispositions to respond to the solicitations of situations in the world. A phenomenology of skill acquisition confirms that, as one acquires expertise, the acquired know-how is experienced as finer and finer discriminations of situations paired with the appropriate response to each. Maximal grip names the body's tendency to refine its responses so as to bring the current situation closer to an optimal gestalt. Thus, successful learning and action do not require propositional mental representations. They do not require semantically interpretable brain representations either.Simulated neural networks exhibit crucial structural features of the intentional arc, and Walter Freeman's account of the brain dynamics underlying perception and action is structurally isomorphic with Merleau-Ponty's account of the way a skilled agent is led by the situation to move towards obtaining a maximal grip.
|Keywords||Philosophy Phenomenology Philosophy of Mind Artificial Intelligence Interdisciplinary Studies Developmental Psychology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Andrew Geeves, Doris J. F. McIlwain, John Sutton & Wayne Christensen (2013). To Think or Not To Think: The Apparent Paradox of Expert Skill in Music Performance. Educational Philosophy and Theory (6):1-18.
Richard Menary & Michael Kirchhoff (2013). Cognitive Transformations and Extended Expertise. Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (6):1-14.
Shaun Gallagher (2008). Are Minimal Representations Still Representations? International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (3):351 – 369.
Steven A. Stolz (2015). Embodied Learning. Educational Philosophy and Theory 47 (5):474-487.
Erik Rietveld (2010). McDowell and Dreyfus on Unreflective Action. Inquiry 53 (2):183-207.
Similar books and articles
Taylor Carman (2009). Merleau-Ponty and the Mystery of Perception. Philosophy Compass 4 (4):630-638.
Øyvind F. Standal & Vegard F. Moe (2011). Merleau-Ponty Meets Kretchmar: Sweet Tensions of Embodied Learning. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 5 (3):256 - 269.
Shaun Gallagher (2000). Representation and Deliberate Action. Houston Studies in Cognitive Science 1.
David Morris (2008). Body. In Rosalyn Diprose & Jack Reynolds (eds.), Merleau-ponty: Key Concepts. Acumen Publishing 111-120.
Osborne P. Wiggins Jr (1979). Merleau-Ponty and Piaget: An Essay in Philosophical Psychology. [REVIEW] Man and World 12 (1):21-34.
Hubert L. Dreyfus (2000). A Merleau-Pontyian Critique of Husserl's and Searle's Representationalist Accounts of Action. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (3):287–302.
Hubert L. Dreyfus (2002). Intelligence Without Representation: Merleau-Ponty's Critique of Mental Representation. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1:367-83.
Corbin Collins (1988). Body-Intentionality. Inquiry 31 (December):495-518.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads239 ( #5,897 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #74,830 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?