New Paper (2022), J. Rust, Precedent as a path laid down in walking: Grounding intrinsic normativity in a history of response

8 December 2022

New Paper (2022), J. Rust, Precedent as a path laid down in walking: Grounding intrinsic normativity in a history of response

Published open access in Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Abstract: While developments of a shared intellectual tradition, the enactivist approach and the organizational account proffer importantly different accounts of organismic normativity. Where enactivists tend to follow Hans Jonas, Andres Weber, and Francisco Varela in grounding intrinsic affordance norms in existential concern, organizational theorists such as […]

Read article

New paper, R. Meyer, N. Brancazio (2022), Putting down the revolt: Enactivism as a philosophy of nature

1 December 2022

New paper, R. Meyer, N. Brancazio (2022), Putting down the revolt: Enactivism as a philosophy of nature

Published in Frontiers in Psychology Abstract: Enactivists frequently argue their account heralds a revolution in cognitive science: enactivism will unseat cognitivism as the dominant paradigm. We examine the lines of reasoning enactivists employ in stirring revolt, but show that none of these prove compelling reasons for cognitivism to be replaced by enactivism. First, we examine […]

Read article

On hemianopsia, vision and adaptive reactions in organism’s pathological states

29 November 2022

On hemianopsia, vision and adaptive reactions in organism’s pathological states

In an unpublished manuscript datable to 1956-1957, La vision comme modèle de la connaissance[1] (Vision as a model of knowledge), the philosopher of medicine and biology Georges Canguilhem referred to specific biological-adaptive mechanisms compensating for some human vision anomalies, particularly hemianopic anomalies. In individuals in whom it tends to occur, hemianopsia (or hemianopia) involves the loss of one half of a […]

Read article

New paper: E. Di Paolo, E. Thompson, R. Beer (2022), Laying down a forking path: Tensions between enaction and the free energy principle

10 November 2022

New paper: E. Di Paolo, E. Thompson, R. Beer (2022), Laying down a forking path: Tensions between enaction and the free energy principle

Published open-access on Philosophy and the Mind Sciences Abstract: Several authors have made claims about the compatibility between the Free Energy Principle (FEP) and theories of autopoiesis and enaction. Many see these theories as natural partners or as making similar statements about the nature of biological and cognitive systems. We critically examine these claims and […]

Read article

The Quest for Scientific Image of Mind

8 November 2022

The Quest for Scientific Image of Mind

The question of the place of mind in nature is one of the oldest and deepest questions in philosophy and the sciences. If the physical sciences to tell us ‘what nature is’, what happens to mental phenomena: thoughts, beliefs, desires, emotions, memories, and ideals? For centuries, philosophers, theologians, and scientists argued about what a “science […]

Read article

Enaction and Dialectics – Part II

11 October 2022

Enaction and Dialectics – Part II

In the first part I have claimed that dialectical thinking is part and parcel of the enactive approach. I will now try to substantiate this claim. In the 1991 book The Embodied Mind, Varela, Thompson, and Rosch draw on developmental and evolutionary biology to prepare the reader for the idea of embodied action as a […]

Read article

Enaction and Dialectics – Part I

6 October 2022

Enaction and Dialectics – Part I

The enactive approach is a rich perspective on the big questions of life and mind originating in the work of Francisco Varela and colleagues. [1] It is a perspective in continuous development, which makes it difficult to condense in a brief text. Enaction is a way of looking at life and mind as continuous. This […]

Read article

Introducing Dialectical Systems

3 October 2022

Introducing Dialectical Systems

Today we have the pleasure to inaugurate Dialectical Systems, a forum where scholars and the general public interested in biology, cognitive science, ecology and philosophy of science can engage in a constructive interdisciplinary dialogue. The forum’s name is inspired by the landmark book The Dialectical Biologist (1985), in which Levins and Lewontin put forward an […]

Read article