David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Topoi 28 (1):63-73 (2009)
This paper contrasts two enactive theories of visual experience: the sensorimotor theory (O’Regan and Noë, Behav Brain Sci 24(5):939–1031, 2001; Noë and O’Regan, Vision and mind, 2002; Noë, Action in perception, 2004) and Susan Hurley’s (Consciousness in action, 1998, Synthese 129:3–40, 2001) theory of active perception. We criticise the sensorimotor theory for its commitment to a distinction between mere sensorimotor behaviour and cognition. This is a distinction that is firmly rejected by Hurley. Hurley argues that personal level cognitive abilities emerge out of a complex dynamic feedback system at the subpersonal level. Moreover reflection on the role of eye movements in visual perception establishes a further sense in which a distinction between sensorimotor behaviour and cognition cannot be sustained. The sensorimotor theory has recently come under critical fire (see e.g. Block, J Philos CII(5):259–272, 2005; Prinz, Psyche, 12(1):1–19, 2006; Aizawa, J Philos CIV(1), 2007) for mistaking a merely causal contribution of action to perception for a constitutive contribution. We further argue that the sensorimotor theory is particularly vulnerable to this objection in a way that Hurley’s active perception theory is not. This presents an additional reason for preferring Hurley’s theory as providing a conceptual framework for the enactive programme.
|Keywords||Perception Action Sensorimotor Enactivism|
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References found in this work BETA
Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson & Eleanor Rosch (1991). The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. MIT Press.
Alva Noë (2005). Action in Perception. The MIT Press.
James J. Gibson (1979). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Houghton Mifflin.
J. Kevin O'Regan & Alva Noë (2001). A Sensorimotor Account of Vision and Visual Consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):883-917.
Citations of this work BETA
Sven Walter (2010). Locked-in Syndrome, Bci, and a Confusion About Embodied, Embedded, Extended, and Enacted Cognition. Neuroethics 3 (1):61-72.
Nivedita Gangopadhyay (2011). The Extended Mind: Born to Be Wild? A Lesson From Action-Understanding. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (3):377-397.
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