Sunday, February 26, 2012

Query to Readers: Enactivist, Embodied Theories of Mind

Given the recent post at Archive Fire concerning enactivist, embodied theories of mind, I am considering engaging such literature.  Regular readers should know that much of my work is in pragmatic theories of representation, phenomenology, and the process metaphysics to get such projects off the ground.

Are there readers out there quite familiar with the strain of neopragmatism that addresses these issues?  I would welcome any thoughts or advice.  For my part, it would require bridging the neopragmatic (them) vs. neoclassical pragmatic chasm (me), which is also the difference between highly appropriative analytic philosophy versus pragmatist and Americanist philosophy.  They are two utterly different traditions of philosophy, which is something that I rarely see analytic neopragmatists appreciate.

What would I offer? The process metaphysics necessary to achieve a realist phenomenology, which is compatible (translatable?) with post-Husserlian phenomenology and contemporary science.  To be honest, many of the basic moves of enactivist, embodied theories of mind are a century old, and much of that work is a return to what began during classical pragmatism's time.  Yet the return is usually an appropriation without a full understanding of classical or neoclassical (contemporary) pragmatism.

I need a good dancing partner...


  1. not sure exactly what you're asking for but I have found that while I support Rorty's understanding of the limits of using "experience" as a justification that one can flesh out his radical behaviorism with all of the kinds of enactivist research being done by the post-Wittgenstein/M-Ponty crowd.
    see what you think of:

  2. Thanks.

    I mean Brandom, Huw Price, etc. But your link is appropriate from a quick glance.

    Rorty had such a truncated view of "experience" as a pragmatic concept that he's not helpful on the subject. Most of the neopragmatists who do this line of work are not appropriating Rorty, but the classical pragmatists.

    To be very honest, I'm trying to find more conversation partners and place to engage in scholarly work, whereas the barrier is that very few "speak" neoclassical pragmatism. They speak neopragmatism and other vocabularies like in that essay, and I'm trying to bridge the gap. However, I'm not sure that's possible without just becoming a member of their tradition, i.e., learning their vocabulary, citing the "right people", important works, etc., which would drive me crazy since for the most part it's the same concepts. It does not look like I have an option.

  3. DMF,

    I really did like that essay from Hutto--it was fantastic. Good call. I see that Hutto and I agree for the most part, and disagree in productive ways.

    In answer to my own question, I've decided that Noe is first on my list of analytic works to read. This comes after much consultation. Sadly, my time is so limited that I must perform "reading triage" especially for works related to long-term rather than short-term research.