Authors
Genevieve Hayman
University College Dublin
Abstract
The potential for mirror neuron research to explain various aspects of social cognition has received considerable attention over the past two decades. Initially, mirror neuron research may seem in accordance with a phenomenological understanding of intersubjectivity, but the work of Dan Zahavi will be used to highlight significant incompatibilities between the two. Likewise, the enactivists Thomas Fuchs and Hanne De Jaegher identify significant issues with current interpretations of mirror neuron research and provide an alternative description of intersubjectivity. This article will assess whether the enactivists are able to provide a more phenomenologically consistent alternative to mirror neuron research alone, eventually determining that their enactive account overcomes Zahavi’s incompatibilities. Consequently, Fuchs and De Jaegher should acknowledge their relation to Husserlian descriptions of empathy in their account, and mirror neuron research should be contextualised within a broader, phenomenologically-compatible framework, as that of the enactivists.
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DOI 10.1515/pipjp-2016-0003
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References found in this work BETA

Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press.
Participatory Sense-Making: An Enactive Approach to Social Cognition.Hanne De Jaegher & Ezequiel Di Paolo - 2007 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (4):485-507.
The Visible and the Invisible.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1968 - Northwestern University Press.
The Practice of Mind: Theory, Simulation or Primary Interaction?Shaun Gallagher - 2001 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (5-7):83-108.

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