Intercorporeity: Enaction, simulation, and the science of social cognition


In this chapter, I want to address two issues. The first one is a local issue within current debates about social cognition pertaining to differences between simulation theory (ST) and interaction theory (IT) in the understanding of intercorporeity. I then want to use this issue to address a larger, less local one concerning science. More specifically, depending on what one concludes about the debate between ST and IT, the implication is that either one can continue to do science as we have been doing it, or one has to do it differently. This distinction between ways of doing science is not the same as the distinction between normal and revolutionary science described by Thomas Kuhn (1962). Something different is at stake. It’s not simply a paradigm shift that would change our conception of nature (or in this case, the nature of human behavior) in a way that would allow us to do science as usual, but rather a change in our conception of nature that would suggest a different way of doing science. This change, I’ll argue, is prefigured in the thinking of Merleau-Ponty (1967, 2012) concerning the notion of form or structure in his early works.

Publication Title

Phenomenology and Science: Confrontations and Convergences