On the role of social interaction in social cognition: a mechanistic alternative to enactivism [Book Review]

Abstract
Researchers in the enactivist tradition have recently argued that social interaction can constitute social cognition, rather than simply serve as the context for social cognition. They contend that a focus on social interaction corrects the overemphasis on mechanisms inside the individual in the explanation of social cognition. I critically assess enactivism’s claims about the explanatory role of social interaction in social cognition. After sketching the enactivist approach to cognition in general and social cognition in particular, I identify problems with an enactivist taxonomy of roles for social interaction in the explanation of social cognition (contextual, enabling, and constitutive). In particular, I show that this enactivist taxonomy does not clearly distinguish between enabling conditions and constitutive elements, which would make them in danger of committing the coupling-constitution fallacy found in some attempts to extend cognition. I explore resources enactivism has to more clearly demarcate constitutive parts of a cognitive system, but identify problems in applying them to some of the main cases of social cognition enactivists characterize as being constituted by social interaction. I offer the mechanistic approach to explanation as an alternative that captures much of what enactivists want to say about the relations between social and individual levels, but views social interactions from the perspective of embedded cognition rather than as being constitutive of social cognition.
Keywords enactivism  social cognition  social interaction  extended cognition  embedded cognition  mechanistic explanation
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,412
External links
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
William Bechtel (2005). Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.

View all 26 references

Citations of this work BETA
Shaun Gallagher (2012). Taking Stock of Phenomenology Futures. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (2):304-318.
Similar books and articles
Shannon Spaulding (2011). Embodied Social Cognition. Philosophical Topics 39 (1):141-162.
John Michael (2011). Interactionism and Mindreading. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (3):559-578.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-06-06

Total downloads

57 ( #27,982 of 1,103,039 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #24,631 of 1,103,039 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.