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Todd Suomela

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Shared by Todd Suomela, 44 saves total

Todd Suomela
  • Having read this book, I remain ambivalent about enactivism, though I see great value in the phenomenological approach that undergirds most of the papers. I agree that people attune to patterns of action and interaction. But I'm apprehensive about the claim that bodily states play a constitutive role in cognition. And I'm skeptical of attempts to replace representations and computations with claims about dynamical systems and participatory sense-making. Dynamics are cool, and we do actively create the world we experience. But it isn't clear to me why appeals to dynamics preclude the existence of mental representations, and it isn't clear to me that dynamics and sense-making are the right place to look for explanations of culturally salient phenomena. We treat people as members of ingroups and outgroups, we track prestige and social status, and we attribute essential characteristics to people. I know roughly how to explain these phenomena in terms of representations and computations. But even after reading this book, I'm less sure what an enactivist should say about them, and I still wonder about the added value of adopting an enactivist approach to these phenomena. Nonetheless, I remain open to the possibility that I'm missing something deep and important, and I look forward to reading more research on enaction, embodiment, and culture.
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