Context: The past few years have presented us with a growing amount of theoretical research (yet that is often based on neuroscientific developments) in the field of enactive music cognition. Problem: Current cognitivist and embodied approaches to music cognition suffer, in our opinion, from a too firm commitment to the explanatory role of mental representations in musical experience. This particular problem can be solved by adopting an enactive approach to music cognition. Method: We present and compare cognitivist, embodied and enactive (...) approaches to music cognition and review the current research in enactive music cognition. Results: We find that, in general, the enactive approaches to human musicality are capable of explaining the basic relationship between a musical subject and a musical object according to a pre-conceptual and pre-linguistic form of understanding related to bodily motor expertise. This explanation does not rely on on sophisticated forms of representation. Implications: Proponents of enactive music cognition should, in our opinion, focus on providing a consistent explanation of the most basic level of musical understanding. Constructivist content: We hope to invite the constructivist community to engage with the discussions on the intersection between music and enactivism. (shrink)
Upshot: Hutto & Myin’s latest “radical enactive cognition” manifesto is a truly exciting book and – despite its short length – quite thick with argumentation. The word “manifesto” here does not only describe the rousing writing style (filled with witty and resounding expressions), but also the general awed feeling one gets, while reading, of the importance of “RECtifying” the current state of research in enactive cognition. Interestingly for the constructivist community, the hallmark thesis of their book is that there can (...) be intentionally directed cognition and perceptual experience without content. (shrink)
The aim of this thesis is to argue in favour of the embodied music cognition paradigm, as opposed to traditional theories of musical mind. The thesis consists of three chapters. The goal of the first chapter is to examine computational music cognition, focusing on the main problem of this approach. In the second chapter, I will present and discuss Marc Leman’s EMC, that may serve as a response to the problems of the computational view of the musical mind. Although this (...) framework is interesting, it is unclear in several places. For that reason, I intend to enrich it with the references to the recent works on human mirror neuron system and enactivist views on music cognition. Given that, in the last chapter, I will answer the question, whether mental representations are necessary in music cognition. (shrink)
Upshot: In his latest book, Antonio Damasio explores the neural underpinnings of self-consciousness in an evolutionary context, while reconsidering his previous views. His current views may be interesting for constructivists.
Upshot: The fact that both “consciousness” and “music” are quite elusive terms makes the attempt to explain the nature (or even the existence of) “musical consciousness” a compelling quest. The papers in this book tackle these problems in an engaging way, ranging from sociology of music to drug altered music cognition. Some also apply enactive and ecological approaches to music cognition, which makes the book an interesting read for constructivists.
Upshot: In his latest book, Lawrence Shapiro analyzes three main themes of embodied cognition that are claimed to make it distinct from traditional, disembodied research on cognition. The author provides a lucid comparison of the “old” and the “new” cognitive science, thereby often referring to enactivism, which most certainly makes his book interesting for constructivists.