Frontiers in Psychology 13 (2022)
AbstractThis aim of this paper is two-fold: it critically analyses and rejects accounts blending active inference as theory of mind and enactivism; and it advances an enactivist-dynamic understanding of social cognition that is compatible with active inference. While some social cognition theories seemingly take an enactive perspective on social cognition, they explain it as the attribution of mental states to other people, by assuming representational structures, in line with the classic Theory of Mind. Holding both enactivism and ToM, we argue, entails contradiction and confusion due to two ToM assumptions widely known to be rejected by enactivism: that social cognition reduces to mental representation and social cognition is a hardwired contentful ‘toolkit’ or ‘starter pack’ that fuels the model-like theorising supposed in. The paper offers a positive alternative, one that avoids contradictions or confusion. After rejecting ToM-inspired theories of social cognition and clarifying the profile of social cognition under enactivism, that is without assumptions and, the last section advances an enactivist-dynamic model of cognition as dynamic, real-time, fluid, contextual social action, where we use the formalisms of dynamical systems theory to explain the origins of socio-cognitive novelty in developmental change and active inference as a tool to demonstrate social understanding as generalised synchronisation.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience.Francisco J. Varela, Evan Thompson & Eleanor Rosch - 1991 - MIT Press.
Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind.Andy Clark - 2016 - Oxford University Press USA.
Radicalizing Enactivism: Basic Minds Without Content.Daniel D. Hutto & Erik Myin - 2013 - Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Citations of this work
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Representation Wars: Enacting an Armistice Through Active Inference.Axel Constant, Andy Clark & Karl J. Friston - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
Active Inference, Enactivism and the Hermeneutics of Social Cognition.Shaun Gallagher & Micah Allen - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2627-2648.
Leave Inference Alone : Direct Inferential Social Cognition.Patrizio Lo Presti - forthcoming - Theory and Psychology.
The Fanciest Sort of Intentionality: Active Inference, Mindshaping and Linguistic Content.Remi Tison - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-41.
Perceptual Presence as Enactive Inference.Moritz Kriegleder - 2021 - Constructivist Foundations 16 (3):313-314.
Limiting the explanatory scope of extended active inference: the implications of a causal pattern analysis of selective niche construction, developmental niche construction, and organism-niche coordination dynamics.Regina E. Fabry - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-26.
Active inference models do not contradict folk psychology.Ryan Smith, Maxwell J. D. Ramstead & Alex Kiefer - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-37.
Free energy: a user’s guide.Stephen Francis Mann, Ross Pain & Michael D. Kirchhoff - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (4):1-35.
The Oxford Handbook of 4E Cognition.Albert Newen, Leon De Bruin & Shaun Gallagher - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Extended Active Inference: Constructing Predictive Cognition Beyond Skulls.Axel Constant, Andy Clark, Michael Kirchhoff & Karl J. Friston - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (3):373-394.
Two Challenges to Hutto’s Enactive Account of Pre-Linguistic Social Cognition.Jane Suilin Lavelle - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (3):459-472.
Automated Inference in Active Logics.Michael Miller & Donald Perlis - 1996 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 6 (1):9-27.
Pragmatic Interventions Into Enactive and Extended Conceptions of Cognition.Shaun Gallagher - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):110-126.