Whether we choose to call the sense-making of bacteria cognitive or proto-cognitive is not something we need to dispute here. ... The important point is that a living organism is a system capable of relating cognitively to the world ... because it is a sense-making system (Thompson and Stapleton, 2010, p. 24).This seems to me to just talk around the issue. Now, one should have some sympathy for not wanting to get into a terminological dispute. Fine. But, then why insist on saying that cognition is sense-making? Thompson and Stapleton don't do that exactly, but it is not clear why anyone who resists the idea that sense-making is cognition would be willing to accept the claim that a living organism is a system capable of relatively cognitively to the world because it is a sense-making system. This move seems to me merely to change the way in which the issue is framed, but not its substance.
Thompson, E., and Stapleton, M. (2010). Making sense of sense-making. Topoi, 28, 23-30.