Friday, July 23, 2010

Enactivism vs EC

As I begin to work through Mike Wheeler's "Minds, Things, and Materiality," I'm struck by how much I have underestimated the extent to which the advocates of EC are working through the differences between EC and enactivism.  (One of Wheeler's ideas is to draw attention to the EC and enactivist themes in a paper by Malafouris.)

For much of the last ten years, the embodied, embedded, enactive, extended (EEEE) crowd has presented something of a unified front.  I knew that Noe (and Rowlands) think that consciousness extends, where Clark does not.  And, I have had this (unpublished) paper indicating rifts along representationalist lines.  And, I have been thinking about this Complementary EC/Revolutionary EC distinction for a few months.  But, it is now clear that some of the major players in the EC movement are looking at the differences between EC and enactivism.  There is the special issue of Topoi, edited by Julian Kiverstein and Andy Clark.  There is this paper by Wheeler that is now out.  There is some discussion along these lines in Thompson's Mind in Life.  There are probably other examples as well.

So, I figure there is going to be a rash of papers now articulating the differences.  This, I think, is a good thing.  I find that there is a tendency among some folks in the EEEE crowd to be somewhat dismissive of my criticisms from the perspective of orthodoxy.  But, differences among the heterodox (maybe) cannot be so easily dismissed.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Kenneth,
    I believe that Thompson's distinction between enactivism and extended mind appears in same Topoi issue as Kiverstein and Clark article and not in the book Mind in Life.
    Stephen Marchant