In a recent article, Wheeler (in press) has put a question mark on the relation between enactivism (in its life/mind continuity version, e.g., Varela et al. 1991; Thompson 2007) and the extended mind (EM) hypothesis (Clark and Chalmers 1998). His conclusion spells gloom for the prospects of a unified non-Cartesian cognitive science: enactivism and EM are demonstrably incompatible!
This conclusion seems at odds with the spontaneous understanding of enactivism as proposing a view of cognition as fundamentally embodied and situated and the (apparently!) parallel understanding of EM as signalling how much of our cognitive skills rely crucially on the availability of non-biological epistemic technologies. (Di Paolo, 2009, p. 9. italics added).Now, as I understand it, EM says more than that our cognitive skills rely crucially on the availability of non-biological epistemic technologies. This sounds like the causal claim that cognition is causally influenced by non-biological epistemic technologies. But, EM makes the stronger claim that cognition is constituted, in part, by the available non-biological epistemic technologies. Or, to put the matter in another way, the phrase "rely crucially on" is at best ambiguous between a causal and a constitutive reading.
Avoiding these ambiguities is one reason to keep a distinction between causal and constitutive claims front and center in the EC debates.
Di Paolo, E. (2009). Extended life. Topoi, 28(1), 9-21.