Enactive or inactive? Cranially envatted dream experience and the extended conscious mind

Philosophical Explorations 21 (2):295-318 (2018)
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When we dream, it is often assumed, we are isolated from the external environment. It is also commonly believed that dreams can be, at times, accurate, convincing replicas of waking experience. Here I analyse some of the implications of this view for an enactive theory of conscious experience. If dreams are, as described by the received view, “inactive”, or “cranially envatted” whilst replicating the experience of being awake, this would be problematic for certain extended conscious mind theories. Focusing specifically on Alva Noë’s enactive view, according to which the vehicles of perceptual experience extend beyond the brain, I argue that dreams are a quandary. Noë’s view is that dreaming is consistent with enactivism because even if dreams are inactive and shut off from the external environment, they are not “full-blown” perceptual consciousness, and also, there is some reason to reject the inactive claim. However, this view rests on an unjustified and reductive account of dreams which is not supported...



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Melanie G. Rosen
Trent University

References found in this work

Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2004 - MIT Press.
How the Body Shapes the Mind.Shaun Gallagher - 2005 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Inattentional Blindness.Arien Mack & Irvin Rock - 1998 - MIT Press. Edited by Richard D. Wright.

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