Title

New mechanisms and the enactivist concept of constitution

Abstract

Discussions of constitution in the new mechanist literature and phenomenology, however, do share a concern with questions about cognition, consciousness and the origins of meaning as it arises in relations between mind and world. Some versions of embodied cognition, including enactivist and extended mind approaches, putatively require a diachronic conception of constitution that includes reciprocal causal relations in order to match the dynamical and holistic conception of cognition that they defend. This notion of constitution needs to be made clear for purposes of responding to a strong critique of enactivist and extended mind approaches drawn from analytic philosophy of mine-the accusation of a causal coupling-constitution. The extended-mind claim is that in such cases the processes and pieces of the environment contribute to the constitution of the cognitive system. Rather than giving up the notion of constitution, as Leuridan proposes, enactivism needs to conceive of constitution as including causal relations without ruling out compositional relations.

Publication Title

Consciousness and the Ontology of Properties

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