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In psychology, and the cognitive sciences more generally, enactivism is a theoretical approach to understanding the mind. It incorporates an historical perspective -- in the sense that each individual's developmental trajectory shapes their understanding of reality -- with the result that it can be seen to subsume and synthesize arguments from embodied and situated cognition to present an alternative to cognitivism.

Enactivists criticize representational views of the mind and emphasize the importance of embodiment and action to cognition.
-Evan Thompson, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Toronto.[1]


At a fundamental level, enactivism is anti-dualist. There is no "core" self, but there is rather an enchained set of context-dependent associations that collectively provide a point-of-view in approaching the momentary problems of being. In this sense, individuals can be seen to "grow into"[1] the world; it is not, a priori, "represented."[2]


Scholars with sympathetic ideasEdit

Other related scholarsEdit


See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • McGann, M. & Torrance, S. (2005). Doing it and meaning it (and the relationship between the two). In R. D. Ellis & N. Newton, Consciousness & Emotion, vol. 1: Agency, conscious choice, and selective perception. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. ISBN 1-58811-596-8
  • Hutto, D. D. (Ed.) (in press). Radical Enactivism: Intentionality, phenomenology, and narrative. In R. D. Ellis & N. Newton (Series Eds.), Consciousness & Emotion, vol. 2. ISBN 90-272-4151-1


ReferencesEdit

  1. Burman, J. T. (2006). [Review of the book Consciousness & Emotion, vol. 1: Agency, conscious choice, and selective perception.], Journal of Consciousness Studies, 13(12), pp. 115-119. Full-text
  2. Varela, F., Thompson, E., & Rosch, E. (1991). The embodied mind: Cognitive science and human experience. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.



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