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Putting down the revolt: Enactivism as a philosophy of nature

Meyer, Russell and Brancazio, Nick (2021) Putting down the revolt: Enactivism as a philosophy of nature. [Preprint]

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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 the hard sell of enactivism: enactivism reveals a critical explanatory gap at the heart of cognitivism. Drawing on Steiner (2019), we show that enactivism does not meet the requirements to incite a paradigm shift in the Kuhnian sense - there is no internal crisis in cognitivism. Nor does it provide inherently better explanations of cognition as some have claimed. Second, we consider the soft sell of enactivism: enactivism provides a more attractive, parsimonious, or clear-eyed lens on cognition. This move proves to boil down to a misunderstanding of how theories are selected in science. Instead we lend support to a broader and more desirable way to conceive of enactivism - Gallagher’s (2017) proposal that enactivism is a philosophy of nature. We explain how a philosophy of nature does more than support a single research paradigm by integrating scientific questions into a cohesive picture.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Meyer, Russellrjm322@uowmail.edu.au0000-0003-3088-2617
Brancazio, Nicknick_brancazio@uow.edu.au0000-0002-7345-2337
Keywords: Enactivism; Explanation; Paradigm; Philosophy of nature
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Mr Russell Meyer
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2021 21:50
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2021 21:50
Item ID: 19924
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19924

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