Enactivist Interventions is an interdisciplinary work that explores how theories of embodied cognition illuminate many aspects of the mind, including perception, affect, and action. Gallagher argues that the brain is not secluded from the world or isolated in its own processes, but rather is dynamically connected with body and environment.
How the Body Shapes the Mind is an interdisciplinary work that addresses philosophical questions by appealing to evidence found in experimental psychology, neuroscience, studies of pathologies, and developmental psychology. There is a growing consensus across these disciplines that the contribution of embodiment to cognition is inescapable. Because this insight has been developed across a variety of disciplines, however, there is still a need to develop a common vocabulary that is capable of integrating discussions of brain mechanisms in neuroscience, behavioural expressions (...) in psychology, design concerns in artificial intelligence and robotics, and debates about embodied experience in the phenomenology and philosophy of mind. Shaun Gallagher's book aims to contribute to the formulation of that common vocabulary and to develop a conceptual framework that will avoid both the overly reductionistic approaches that explain everything in terms of bottom-up neuronal mechanisms, and inflationistic approaches that explain everything in terms of Cartesian, top-down cognitive states. Gallagher pursues two basic sets of questions. The first set consists of questions about the phenomenal aspects of the structure of experience, and specifically the relatively regular and constant features that we find in the content of our experience. If throughout conscious experience there is a constant reference to one's own body, even if this is a recessive or marginal awareness, then that reference constitutes a structural feature of the phenomenal field of consciousness, part of a framework that is likely to determine or influence all other aspects of experience. The second set of questions concerns aspects of the structure of experience that are more hidden, those that may be more difficult to get at because they happen before we know it. They do not normally enter into the content of experience in an explicit way, and are often inaccessible to reflective consciousness. To what extent, and in what ways, are consciousness and cognitive processes, which include experiences related to perception, memory, imagination, belief, judgement, and so forth, shaped or structured by the fact that they are embodied in this way? (shrink)
_The Phenomenological Mind_ is the first book to properly introduce fundamental questions about the mind from the perspective of phenomenology. Key questions and topics covered include: • what is phenomenology? • naturalizing phenomenology and the cognitive sciences • phenomenology and consciousness • consciousness and self-consciousness • time and consciousness • intentionality • the embodied mind • action • knowledge of other minds • situated and extended minds • phenomenology and personal identity. This second edition includes a new preface, and revised (...) and improved chapters. Also included are helpful features such as chapter summaries, guides to further reading, and a glossary, making _The Phenomenological Mind_ an ideal introduction to key concepts in phenomenology, cognitive science and philosophy of mind. (shrink)
The Phenomenological Mind is the first book to properly introduce fundamental questions about the mind from the perspective of phenomenology. Key questions and topics covered include: What is phenomenology? naturalizing phenomenology and the empirical cognitive sciences phenomenology and consciousness consciousness and self-consciousness, including perception and action time and consciousness, including William James intentionality the embodied mind action knowledge of other minds situated and extended minds phenomenology and personal identity Interesting and important examples are used throughout, including phantom limb syndrome, blindsight (...) and self-disorders in schizophrenia, making The Phenomenological Mind an ideal introduction to key concepts in phenomenology, cognitive science and philosophy of mind. (shrink)
Shaun Gallagher presents a ground-breaking interdisciplinary account of action. He shows that in order to understand human agency and the aspects of mind that are associated with it, we need to grasp the crucial role of context or circumstance in action, and the normative constraints of social and cultural practices.
Although philosophical approaches to the self are diverse, several of them are relevant to cognitive science. First, the notion of a 'minimal self', a self devoid of temporal extension, is clarified by distinguishing between a sense of agency and a sense of ownership for action. To the extent that these senses are subject to failure in pathologies like schizophrenia, a neuropsychological model of schizophrenia may help to clarify the nature of the minimal self and its neurological underpinnings. Second, there is (...) good evidence to suggest that although certain aspects of the minimal self are primitive and embodied, other aspects may be accessed only in reflective consciousness. Employing a modified concept of the minimal self, it may be possible to construct a robotic form of non-conscious self-reference that depends on an interaction between the robotic body and its environment. In contrast to the minimal self, the narrative self involves continuity over time and is directly relevant to discussions of memory and personal identity. There is growing consensus among philosophers and cognitive scientists about the importance of narrative and its relation to episodic memory and left-hemisphere functions. There are, however, at least two different views of how the narrative self is structured. On one model it is nothing more than an abstract point. On a more extended view, proposed here, the self is a rich amalgam of narratives that allows for the equivocations, contradictions, and self-deceptions of personal life. Even in this case, however, neurocognitive models contribute to our understanding of how narrative identity is structured. (shrink)
4E cognition (embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended) is a relatively young and thriving field of interdisciplinary research. It assumes that cognition is shaped and structured by dynamic interactions between the brain, body, and both the physical and social environments. -/- With essays from leading scholars and researchers, The Oxford Handbook of 4E Cognition investigates this recent paradigm. It addresses the central issues of embodied cognition by focusing on recent trends, such as Bayesian inference and predictive coding, and presenting new insights, (...) such as the development of false belief understanding. -/- The Oxford Handbook of 4E Cognition also introduces new theoretical paradigms for understanding emotion and conceptualizing the interactions between cognition, language, and culture. With an entire section dedicated to the application of 4E cognition in disciplines such as psychiatry and robotics, and critical notes aimed at stimulating discussion, this Oxford handbook is the definitive guide to 4E cognition. -/- Aimed at neuroscientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and philosophers, The Oxford Handbook of 4E Cognition will be essential reading for anyone with an interest in this young and thriving field. (shrink)
An important shift is taking place in social cognition research, away from a focus on the individual mind and toward embodied and participatory aspects of social understanding. Empirical results already imply that social cognition is not reducible to the workings of individual cognitive mechanisms. To galvanize this interactive turn, we provide an operational definition of social interaction and distinguish the different explanatory roles – contextual, enabling and constitutive – it can play in social cognition. We show that interactive processes are (...) more than a context for social cognition: they can complement and even replace individual mechanisms. This new explanatory power of social interaction can push the field forward by expanding the possibilities of scientific explanation beyond the individual. (shrink)
We argue that theory-of-mind (ToM) approaches, such as “theory theory” and “simulation theory”, are both problematic and not needed. They account for neither our primary and pervasive way of engaging with others nor the true basis of our folk psychological understanding, even when narrowly construed. Developmental evidence shows that young infants are capable of grasping the purposeful intentions of others through the perception of bodily movements, gestures, facial expressions etc. Trevarthen’s notion of primary intersubjectivity can provide a theoretical framework for (...) understanding these capabilities and his notion of secondary intersubjectivity shows the importance of pragmatic contexts for infants starting around one year of age. The recent neuroscience of resonance systems (i.e., mirror neurons, shared representations) also supports this view. These ideas are worked out in the context of an embodied “Interaction Theory” of social cognition. Still, for more sophisticated intersubjective interactions in older children and adults, one might argue that some form of ToM is required. This thought is defused by appeal to narrative competency and the Narrative Practice Hypothesis (or NPH). We propose that repeated encounters with narratives of a distinctive kind is the normal route through which children acquire an understanding of the forms and norms that enable them to make sense of actions in terms of reasons. A potential objection to this hypothesis is that it presupposes ToM abilities. Interaction Theory is deployed once again to answer this by providing an alternative approach to understanding basic narrative competency and its development. (shrink)
This paper, in opposition to the standard theories of social cognition found in psychology and cognitive science, defends the idea that direct perception plays an important role in social cognition. The two dominant theories, theory theory and simulation theory , both posit something more than a perceptual element as necessary for our ability to understand others, i.e., to “mindread” or “mentalize.” In contrast, certain phenomenological approaches depend heavily on the concept of perception and the idea that we have a direct (...) perceptual grasp of the other person’s intentions, feelings, etc. This paper explains precisely what the notion of direct perception means, offers evidence from developmental studies, and proposes a non-simulationist interpretation of the neuroscience of mirror systems. (shrink)
Theory of mind explanations of how we know other minds are limited in several ways. First, they construe intersubjective relations too narrowly in terms of the specialized cognitive abilities of explaining and predicting another person's mental states and behaviors. Second, they sometimes draw conclusions about secondperson interaction from experiments designed to test third-person observation of another's behavior. As a result, the larger claims that are sometimes made for theory of mind, namely, that theory of mind is our primary and pervasive (...) means for understanding other persons, go beyond both the phenomenological and the scientific evidence. I argue that the interpretation of "primary intersubjectivity" as merely precursory to theory of mind is inadequate. Rather, primary intersubjectivity, understood as a set of embodied practices and capabilities, is not only primary in a developmental sense, but is the primary way we continue to understand others in second-person interactions. (shrink)
We distinguish between three philosophical views on the neuroscience of predictive models: predictive coding, predictive processing and predictive engagement. We examine the concept of active inference under each model and then ask how this concept informs discussions of social cognition. In this context we consider Frith and Friston’s proposal for a neural hermeneutics, and we explore the alternative model of enactivist hermeneutics.
This new introduction by Shaun Gallagher gives students and philosophers not only an excellent concise overview of the state of the field and contemporary debates, but a novel way of addressing the subject by looking at the ways in which phenomenology is useful to the disciplines it applies to. Gallagher retrieves the central insights made by the classic phenomenological philosophers (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and others), updates some of these insights in innovative ways, and shows how they directly relate to (...) ongoing debates in philosophy and psychology. Accounts of phenomenological methods, and the concepts of intentionality, temporality, embodiment, action, self, and our ability to understand other people are integrated into a coherent contemporary statement that shows why phenomenology is still an active and vital philosophical approach. Each chapter begins with a discussion of the classic analyses and then goes on to show their relevance to contemporary debates in philosophy about embodied, enactive and extended approaches to our understanding of human experience. Along the way Gallagher introduces some novel interpretations that suggest how phenomenology can both inform and be informed by the terms of these debates. (shrink)
A BSTRACT: I argue that theory theory approaches to autism offer a wholly inadequate explanation of autistic symptoms because they offer a wholly inadequate account of the non-autistic understanding of others. As an alternative I outline interaction theory, which incorporates evidence from both developmental and phenomenological studies to show that humans are endowed with important capacities for intersubjective understanding from birth or early infancy. As part of a neurophenomenological analysis of autism, interaction theory offers an account of interpersonal problems that (...) is fully consistent with the variety of social and nonsocial symptoms found in autism. (shrink)
In this paper I defend interaction theory (IT) as an alternative to both theory theory (TT) and simulation theory (ST). IT opposes the basic suppositions that both TT and ST depend upon. I argue that the various capacities for primary and secondary intersubjectivity found in infancy and early childhood should not be thought of as precursors to later developing capacities for using folk psychology or simulation routines. They are not replaced or displaced by such capacities in adulthood, but rather continue (...) to operate as our ordinary and everyday basis for social cognition. I also argue that enactive perception rather than implicit simulation is the best model for explaining these capacities. (shrink)
I present arguments against both explicit and implicit versions of the simulation theory for intersubjective understanding. Logical, developmental, and phenomenological evidence counts against the concept of explicit simulation if this is to be understood as the pervasive or default way that we understand others. The concept of implicit (subpersonal) simulation, identified with neural resonance systems (mirror systems or shared representations), fails to be the kind of simulation required by simulation theory, because it fails to explain how neuronal processes meet constraints (...) that involve instrumentality and pretense. Implicit simulation theory also fails to explain how I can attribute a mental or emotion state that is different from my own to another person. I also provide a brief indication of an alternative interpretation of neural resonance systems. (shrink)
Resistance to the idea that phenomenology can be relevant to cognitive scientific explanation has faced two objections advanced, respectively, from both sides of the issue: from the scientific perspective it has been suggested that phenomenology, understood as an account of first-person experience, is ultimately reducible to cognitive neuroscientific explanation; and from a phenomenological perspective it has been argued that phenomenology cannot be naturalized. In this context it makes sense to consider that the notion of scientific reduction is linked to a (...) classic scientific conception of nature. I argue that if properly understood, the proposal to rethink the concept of nature itself, in enactivist phenomenological approaches, undermines the reductionist program and redefines what it means for phenomenology to be naturalized. (shrink)
Recent studies in developmental psychology have found evidence to suggest that there exists an innate system that accounts for the possibilities of early infant imitation and the existence of phantom limbs in cases of congenital absence of limbs. These results challenge traditional assumptions about the status and development of the body schema and body image, and about the nature of the translation process between perceptual experience and motor ability.
It has been twenty years since Clark and Chalmers published “The Extended Mind.” In the present article I review the development of the extended mind hypothesis across what some proponents have defined as three theoretical “waves.” From first‐wave extended mind theory, based on the parity principle, to second‐wave complementarity, to the third wave, characterized as an uneasy integration of predictive processing and enactivist dynamics, extended mind theorists have faced and solved a number of problems along the way. The fact that (...) the hypothesis continues to spark debate and to generate both new insights and new objections suggests that it continues to play a productive role in contemporary philosophy of mind. (shrink)
We propose to extend Clark and Chalmer’s concept of the extended mind to consider the possibility that social institutions (e.g., legal systems, museums) may operate in ways similar to the hand-held conveniences (notebooks, calculators) that are often used as examples of extended mind. The inspiration for this suggestion can be found in the writings of Hegel on “objective spirit” which involves the mind in a constant process of externalizing and internalizing. For Hegel, social institutions are pieces of the mind, externalized (...) in their specific time and place. These institutions are the products of shared mental processes. We then use these institutions instrumentally to do further cognitive work, for example, to solve problems or to control behavior. (shrink)
In this paper, we first review recent arguments about the direct perception of the intentions and emotions of others, emphasizing the role of embodied interaction. We then consider a possible objection to the direct perception hypothesis from social psychology, related to phenomena like ‘dehumanization’ and ‘implicit racial bias’, which manifest themselves on a basic bodily level. On the background of such data, one might object that social perception cannot be direct since it depends on and can in fact be interrupted (...) by a set of cultural beliefs. We argue, however, that far from threatening the idea of direct perception, these findings clearly contradict the idea of hardwired theory of mind modules. More generally, we suggest that in order to further the understanding of social cognition we must take seriously insights about in-group and out-group distinctions and related phenomena, all of which are currently neglected in the mainstream social cognition literature. (shrink)
On the phenomenological view, a minimal form of self-consciousness is a constant structural feature of conscious experience. Experience happens for the experiencing subject in an immediate way and as part of this immediacy, it is implicitly marked as my experience. For the phenomenologists, this immediate and first-personal givenness of experiential phenomena must be accounted for in terms of a pre-reflective self-consciousness. In the most basic sense of the term, selfconsciousness is not something that comes about the moment one attentively inspects (...) or reflectively introspects one's experiences, or in the instant of self-recognition of one's image in the mirror, or in the proper use of the first-person pronoun, or in the construction of a self-narrative. Rather, these different kinds of self-consciousness are to be distinguished from the pre-reflective self-consciousness which is present whenever I am living through or undergoing an experience, i.e., whenever I am consciously perceiving the world, whenever I am thinking an occurrent thought, whenever I am feeling sad or happy, thirsty or in pain, and so forth. (shrink)
Abstract: The notion of a self-pattern, as developed in the pattern theory of self, which holds that the self is best explained in terms of the kind of reality that pertains to a dynamical pattern, acknowledges the importance of neural dynamics, but also expands the account of self to extra-neural (embodied and enactive) dynamics. The pattern theory of self, however, has been criticized for failing to explicate the dynamical relations among elements of the self-pattern; as such, it seems to be (...) nothing more than a mere list of elements. We’ll argue that the dynamics of a self-pattern are reflected in three significant and interrelated ways that allow for investigation. First, a self-pattern is reflectively reiterated in its narrative component. Second, studies of psychiatric or neurological disorders can help us understand the precise nature of the dynamical relations in a self-pattern, and how they can fail. Third, referencing predictive processing accounts, neuroscience can also help to explicate the dynamical relations that constitute the self-pattern. (shrink)
A review of several theories and brain-imaging experiments shows that there is no consensus about how to define the sense of agency. In some cases the sense of agency is construed in terms of bodily movement or motor control, in others it is linked to the intentional aspect of action. For some theorists it is the product of higher-order cognitive processes, for others it is a feature of first-order phenomenal experience. In this article I propose a multiple aspects account of (...) the sense of agency. (shrink)
What does it mean for an actor to empathize with the character she is playing? We review different theories of empathy and of acting. We then consider the notion of “twofoldness”, which has been used to characterize the observer or audience perspective on the relation between actor and character. This same kind of twofoldness or double attunement applies from the perspective of the actor herself who must, at certain points of preparation, distinguish between the character portrayed and her own portrayal (...) effected in her craft. We argue that this concept helps us to understand how the actor can empathize with her character. For the actor who must study and rehearse her character, empathy may begin with higher-order processes that provide a contextualized understanding of the character. This understanding eventually integrates with more basic empathic processes in her actual performance. (shrink)
In this paper we explore the notion of rehearsal as a way to develop an embodied and enactive account of imagining. After reviewing the neuroscience of motor imagery, we argue, in the context of performance studies, that rehearsal includes forms of imagining that involve motor processes. We draw on Sartre’s phenomenology of imagining which also suggests that imagining involves motor processes. This research in neuroscience and phenomenology, supports the idea of an embodied and enactive account of imagination.
The term phenomenology can be used in a generic sense to cover a variety of areas related to the problem of consciousness. In this sense it is a title that ranges over issues pertaining to first-person or subjective experience, qualia, and what has become known as "the hard problem" (Chalmers 1995). The term is sometimes used even more generally to signify a variety of approaches to studying such issues, including contemplative, meditative, and mystical studies, and transpersonal psychology.(1) Within the disciplines (...) of philosophy and psychology, however, phenomenology has a more specialized meaning. In this case it refers to the methodology and philosophy initiated by the philosopher Edmund Husserl at the beginning of the twentieth-century and developed in various ways by theorists such as Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Schutz. I restrict the scope of this review to phenomenology in this more specialized sense. In the light of several recent publications, the general questions I address are: What is and what ought to be the relationship between phenomenology and cognitive science? and What, if any, recent contributions has phenomenology made to the science of consciousness? (shrink)
ArgumentA number of theorists have proposed simulation theories of empathy. A review of these theories shows that, despite the fact that one version of the simulation theory can avoid a number of problems associated with such approaches, there are further reasons to doubt whether simulation actually explains empathy. A high-level simulation account of empathy, distinguished from the simulation theory of mindreading, can avoid problems associated with low-level (neural) simulationist accounts; but it fails to adequately address two other problems: the diversity (...) problem and the starting problem. It is argued that a narrative approach to empathy obviates all these problems and offers a more parsimonious account. (shrink)
In the past dozen years a number of theoretical models of schizophrenic symptoms have been proposed, often inspired by advances in the cognitive sciences, and especially cognitive neuroscience. Perhaps the most widely cited and influential of these is the neurocognitive model proposed by Christopher Frith (1992). Frith's influence reaches into psychiatry, neuroscience, and even philosophy. The philosopher John Campbell (1999a), for example, has called Frith's model the most parsimonious explanation of how self-ascriptions of thoughts are subject to errors of identification. (...) "On reflection, it also seems that this is not just one possible theory; it is the simplest theory which has any prospect of explaining the sense of agency, and we ought to work from it, introducing complications only as necessary" (1999a, p. 612). Not everyone agrees. In their recent analysis of alien voices and inserted thoughts in schizophrenia, Stephens and Graham (2000) offer a critique of Frith. Their criticism, however, although serious, is neither deep nor extensive. They outline three points. First, Frith fails to provide an adequate account of why a subject who experiences thought insertion would misattribute that thought to some other agent. Second, Frith does not clarify the distinction between thought insertion and thought influence. And third, Frith fails to explain how a subject can claim both that he is thinking the thought and that the thought is someone else's thought (Stephens and Graham.. (shrink)
We review the use of introspective and phenomenological methods in experimental settings. We distinguish different senses of introspection, and further distinguish phenomenological method from introspectionist approaches. Two ways of using phenomenology in experimental procedures are identified: first, the neurophenomenological method, proposed by Varela, involves the training of experimental subjects. This approach has been directly and productively incorporated into the protocol of experiments on perception. A second approach may have wider application and does not involve training experimental subjects in phenomenological method. (...) It requires front-loading phenomenological insights into experimental design. A number of experiments employing this approach are reviewed. We conclude with a discussion of the implications for both the cognitive sciences and phenomenology. (shrink)
I clarify recently developed phenomenological approaches to social cognition. These are approaches that, drawing on developmental science, social neuroscience, and dynamic systems theory, emphasize the involvement of embodied and enactive processes together with communicative and narrative practices in contexts of intersubjective understanding. I review some of the evidence that supports these approaches. I consider a variety of criticisms leveled against them, and defend the role of phenomenology in the explanation of social cognition. Finally, I show how these phenomenological approaches can (...) solve the “starting problem” of social cognition. (shrink)
I review three answers to the question: How can phenomenology contribute to the experimental cognitive neurosciences? The first approach, neurophenomenology, employs phenomenological method and training, and uses first-person reports not just as more data for analysis, but to generate descriptive categories that are intersubjectively and scientifically validated, and are then used to interpret results that correlate with objective measurements of behaviour and brain activity. A second approach, indirect phenomenology, is shown to be problematic in a number of ways. Indirect phenomenology (...) is generally put to work after the experiment, in critical or creative interpretations of the scientific evidence. Ultimately, however, proposals for the indirect use of phenomenology lead back to methodological questions about the direct use of phenomenology in experimental design. The third approach, 'front-loaded' phenomenology, suggests that the results of phenomenological investigations can be used in the design of empirical ones. Concepts or clarifications that have been worked out phenomenologically may operate as a partial framework for experimentation. (shrink)
This paper considers the epistemic role that embodiment plays in imagining. We focus on two aspects of embodied cognition understood in its strong sense: explicit motoric processes related to performance, and neuronal processes rooted in bodily and action processes, and describe their role in imagining. The paper argues that these two aspects of strongly embodied cognition can play distinctive and positive roles in constraining imagining, thereby complementing Amy Kind's argument for the epistemic relevance of imagination "under constraints" and Magdalena Balcerak (...) Jackson's argument for justification by imagination. (shrink)
The recent distinction between sense of agency and sense of body-ownership has attracted considerable empirical and theoretical interest. The respective contributions of central motor signals and peripheral afferent signals to these two varieties of body experience remain unknown. In the present review, we consider the methodological problems encountered in the empirical study of agency and body-ownership, and we then present a series of experiments that study the interplay between motor and sensory information. In particular, we focus on how multisensory signals (...) interact with body representations to generate the sense of body-ownership, and how the sense of agency modulates the sense of body-ownership. Finally, we consider the respective roles of efferent and afferent signals for the experience of one’s own body and actions, in relation to self-recognition and the recognition of other people’s actions. We suggest that the coherent experience of the body depends on the integration of efferent information with afferent information in action contexts. Overall, whereas afferent signals provide the distinctive content of one’s own body experience, efferent signals seem to structure the experience of one’s own body in an integrative and coherent way. (shrink)
I examine the following question: Do actions require representations that are intrinsic to the action itself? Recent work by Mark Rowlands, Michael Wheeler, and Andy Clark suggests that actions may require a minimal form of representation. I argue that the various concepts of minimal representation on offer do not apply to action per se and that a non-representationalist account that focuses on dynamic systems of self-organizing continuous reciprocal causation at the sub-personal level is superior. I further recommend a scientific pragmatism (...) regarding the concept of representation. (shrink)
In a majority of situations the normal adult maintains posture or moves without consciously monitoring motor activity. Posture and movement are usually close to automatic; they tend to take care of themselves, outside of attentive regard. One's body, in such cases, effaces itself as one is geared into a particular intentional goal. This effacement is possible because of the normal functioning of a body schema. Body schema can be defined as a system of preconscious, subpersonal processes that play a dynamic (...) role in governing posture and movement (Head, 1920). There is an important and often overlooked conceptual difference between the subpersonal body schema and what is usually called body image . The latter is most often defined as a conscious idea or mental representation that one has of one's own body (for example, Adame, Radell, Johnson, and Cole, 1991; Gardner and Moncrieff, 1988; Schilder, 1935). Despite the conceptual difference many researchers use the terms interchangeably, leading to both a terminological and conceptual confusion. (shrink)
The full scope of enactivist approaches to cognition includes not only a focus on sensory-motor contingencies and physical affordances for action, but also an emphasis on affective factors of embodiment and intersubjective affordances for social interaction. This strong conception of embodied cognition calls for a new way to think about the role of the brain in the larger system of brain-body-environment. We ask whether recent work on predictive coding offers a way to think about brain function in an enactive system, (...) and we suggest that a positive answer is possible if we interpret predictive coding in a more enactive way, i.e., as involved in the organism’s dynamic adjustments to its environment. (shrink)
An action-oriented perspective changes the role of an individual from a passive observer to an actively engaged agent interacting in a closed loop with the world as well as with others. Cognition exists to serve action within a landscape that contains both. This chapter surveys this landscape and addresses the status of the pragmatic turn. Its potential influence on science and the study of cognition are considered (including perception, social cognition, social interaction, sensorimotor entrainment, and language acquisition) and its impact (...) on how neuroscience is studied is also investigated (with the notion that brains do not passively build models, but instead support the guidance of action). A review of its implications in robotics and engineering includes a discussion of the application of enactive control principles to couple action and perception in robotics as well as the conceptualization of system design in a more holistic, less modular manner. Practical applications that can impact the human condition are reviewed (e.g., educational applications, treatment possibilities for developmental and psychopathological disorders, the development of neural prostheses). All of this foreshadows the potential societal implications of the pragmatic turn. The chapter concludes that an action-oriented approach emphasizes a continuum of interaction between technical aspects of cognitive systems and robotics, biology, psychology, the social sciences, and the humanities, where the individual is part of a grounded cultural system. (shrink)
Following on from Shaun Gallagher's influential 2005 book How the Body Shapes the Mind, this volume brings together leading experts from the fields of philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry in a productive dialogue, exploring key questions and debates about the relationship between body schema and body image.
An important part of what it means for agents to be situated in the everyday world of human affairs includes their engagement with economic practices. In this paper we employ the concept of cognitive institutions in order to provide an enactive and interactive interpretation of market and economic reasoning. We challenge traditional views that understand markets in terms of market structures or as processors of distributed information. The alternative conception builds upon the notion of the market as a ‘scaffolding institution’. (...) Introducing the concept of market as a ‘socially extended’ cognitive institution we go beyond the notion of scaffolding to provide an enactive view of economic reasoning that understands the market participant in terms of social interactive processes and relational autonomy. Markets are more than inert devices for information processing; they can be viewed as ‘highly scaffolded’, where strong constraints and incentives predictably direct agents’ behavior. Building on this idea we argue that markets emerge from (a) the economic interaction of both supply and demand sides, in continual and mutual interplay, and (b) more basic social interactions. Consumer behavior in the marketplace is complex, not only determining the market price, but also extending the consumer’s cognitive processes to reliably attain a correct evaluation of the good. Moreover, this economic reasoning is socially situated and not something done in isolation from other consumers From a socially situated, interactive point of view buying or not buying a good is something that enacts the market. This shifts the status of markets from external institutions that merely causally affect participants’ cognitive processes to social institutions that constitutively extend these cognitive processes. On this view the constraints imposed by social interactions, as well as the possibilities enabled by such interactions, are such that economic reasoning is never just an individual process carried out by an autonomous individual, classically understood. In this regard, understanding the concept of relational autonomy allows us to see how economic reasoning is always embodied, embedded in, and scaffolded by intersubjective interactions, and how such interactions make the market what it is. (shrink)
A study of the interface between philosophical hermeneutics and the philosophical theory of education, yielding a hermeneutical approach to education--an approach that calls into question the current models of educational experience and ...