•  795
    The concept of agency is of crucial importance in cognitive science and artificial intelligence, and it is often used as an intuitive and rather uncontroversial term, in contrast to more abstract and theoretically heavy-weighted terms like “intentionality”, “rationality” or “mind”. However, most of the available definitions of agency are either too loose or unspecific to allow for a progressive scientific program. They implicitly and unproblematically assume the features that characterize agents…Read more
  •  276
    Extended life
    Topoi 28 (1): 9-21. 2008.
    This paper reformulates some of the questions raised by extended mind theorists from an enactive, life/mind continuity perspective. Because of its reliance on concepts such as autopoiesis, the enactive approach has been deemed internalist and thus incompatible with the extended mind hypothesis. This paper answers this criticism by showing (1) that the relation between organism and cogniser is not one of co-extension, (2) that cognition is a relational phenomenon and thereby has no location, and …Read more
  •  179
    Spatial embedding and the structure of complex networks
    with S. Bullock and L. Barnett
    Complexity 16 (2): 20-28. 2010.
  •  171
    Autopoiesis, adaptivity, teleology, agency
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (4): 429-452. 2005.
    A proposal for the biological grounding of intrinsic teleology and sense-making through the theory of autopoiesis is critically evaluated. Autopoiesis provides a systemic language for speaking about intrinsic teleology but its original formulation needs to be elaborated further in order to explain sense-making. This is done by introducing adaptivity, a many-layered property that allows organisms to regulate themselves with respect to their conditions of viability. Adaptivity leads to more articu…Read more
  •  106
    Spatial, temporal, and modulatory factors affecting GasNet evolvability in a visually guided robotics task
    with Philip Husbands, Andrew Philippides, Patricia Vargas, Christopher L. Buckley, Peter Fine, and Michael O'Shea
    Complexity 16 (2): 35-44. 2010.
  •  88
    Sociality and the life–mind continuity thesis
    with Tom Froese
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4): 439-463. 2009.
    The life–mind continuity thesis holds that mind is prefigured in life and that mind belongs to life. The biggest challenge faced by proponents of this thesis is to show how an explanatory framework that accounts for basic biological processes can be systematically extended to incorporate the highest reaches of human cognition. We suggest that this apparent ‘cognitive gap’ between minimal and human forms of life appears insurmountable largely because of the methodological individualism that is pr…Read more
  •  67
    Locked-in syndrome: a challenge for embodied cognitive science
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (3): 517-542. 2015.
    Embodied approaches in cognitive science hold that the body is crucial for cognition. What this claim amounts to, however, still remains unclear. This paper contributes to its clarification by confronting three ways of understanding embodiment—the sensorimotor approach, extended cognition and enactivism—with Locked-in syndrome. LIS is a case of severe global paralysis in which patients are unable to move and yet largely remain cognitively intact. We propose that LIS poses a challenge to embodied…Read more
  •  48
    The sense of agency – a phenomenological consequence of enacting sensorimotor schemes
    with Thomas Buhrmann
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (2): 207-236. 2017.
    The sensorimotor approach to perception addresses various aspects of perceptual experience, but not the subjectivity of intentional action. Conversely, the problem that current accounts of the sense of agency deal with is primarily one of subjectivity. But the proposed models, based on internal signal comparisons, arguably fail to make the transition from subpersonal computations to personal experience. In this paper we suggest an alternative direction towards explaining the sense of agency by b…Read more
  •  36
    The enactive approach: Theoretical sketches from cell to society
    with Tom Froese
    Pragmatics and Cognition 19 (1): 1-36. 2011.
    There is a small but growing community of researchers spanning a spectrum of disciplines which are united in rejecting the still dominant computationalist paradigm in favor of theenactive approach. The framework of this approach is centered on a core set of ideas, such as autonomy, sense-making, emergence, embodiment, and experience. These concepts are finding novel applications in a diverse range of areas. One hot topic has been the establishment of an enactive approach to social interaction. T…Read more
  •  33
    Editorial: The social and enactive mind (review)
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4): 409-415. 2009.
    The life–mind continuity thesis holds that mind is prefigured in life and that mind belongs to life. The biggest challenge faced by proponents of this thesis is to show how an explanatory framework that accounts for basic biological processes can be systematically extended to incorporate the highest reaches of human cognition. We suggest that this apparent ‘cognitive gap’ between minimal and human forms of life appears insurmountable largely because of the methodological individualism that is pr…Read more
  •  29
    Open peer commentary on the article “Perception-Action Mutuality Obviates Mental Construction” by Martin Flament Fultot, Lin Nie & Claudia Carello. Upshot: I contrast enactivist and ecological perspectives on some of the themes raised by the authors. I discuss some of their worries about the notion of sense-making and other epistemological aspects of enactivism.
  •  12
    Sensorimotor strategies for recognizing geometrical shapes: a comparative study with different sensory substitution devices
    with Fernando Bermejo, Mercedes X. HüG., and Claudia Arias
    Frontiers in Psychology 6. 2015.
  •  11
    “The phenomenon of life” by Hans Jonas
    Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 36 (3). 2005.
  •  11
  •  8
    A Mind of Many. Commentary on the target artcle by Ernst von Glasersfeld
    Constructivist Foundations 3 (2): 89-91. 2008.
    Open peer commentary on the target article “Who Conceives of Society?” by Ernst von Glasersfeld. Excerpt: While von Glasersfeld’s “epistemological model involves consciousness, memory, and some basic values” (§47), our argument from an enactive perspective is that these axiomatic elements are not atomic and already imply the participation of those social processes they intend to ground and that this fundamental intervention happens before these processes are constituted as knowable by the indivi…Read more
  •  8
    Enactive becoming
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1-27. forthcoming.
    The enactive approach provides a perspective on human bodies in their organic, sensorimotor, social, and linguistic dimensions, but many fundamental issues still remain unaddressed. A crucial desideratum for a theory of human bodies is that it be able to account for concrete human becoming. In this article I show that enactive theory possesses resources to achieve this goal. Being an existential structure, human becoming is best approached by a series of progressive formal indications. I discuss…Read more
  •  4
    Editorial: The social and enactive mind
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4): 409-415. 2009.
  •  4
    Autopoiesis, Adaptivity, Teleology, Agency
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (4): 429-452. 2006.
    A proposal for the biological grounding of intrinsic teleology and sense-making through the theory of autopoiesis is critically evaluated. Autopoiesis provides a systemic lan- guage for speaking about intrinsic teleology but its original formulation needs to be elaborated further in order to explain sense-making. This is done by introducing adaptivity, a many-layered property that allows organisms to regulate themselves with respect to their conditions of via- bility. Adaptivity leads to more ar…Read more
  •  3
    Rediscovering Richard Held: Activity and Passivity in Perceptual Learning
    with Fernando Bermejo and Mercedes X. Hüg
    Frontiers in Psychology 11. 2020.
  •  1
    Paticipatory Object Perception
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (5-6): 228-258. 2016.
    Social factors have so far been neglected in embodied theories of perception despite the wealth of phenomenological insights and empirical evidence indicating their importance. I examine evidence from developmental psychology and neuroscience and attempt an initial classification according to whether social factors play a contextual, enabling, or constitutive role in the ability to perceive objects in a detached manner, i.e. beyond their immediate instrumental use. While evidence of cross-cultur…Read more
  •  1
    Sensorimotor Life: An enactive proposal
    with Thomas Bhurman and Xabier Barandiaran
    Oxford University Press. 2017.
    How accurate is the picture of the human mind that has emerged from studies in neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science? Anybody with an interest in how minds work - how we learn about the world and how we remember people and events - may feel dissatisfied with the answers contemporary science has to offer. Sensorimotor Life draws on current theoretical developments in the enactive approach to life and mind. It examines and expands the premises of the sciences of the human mind, while dev…Read more
  • Interactive Time-Travel: On the intersubjective Retro-modulation of Intentions
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (1-2): 49-74. 2015.
    The temporality of intentions and actions in situations of social interaction can sometimes be paradoxical. I argue that in these situations it may sometimes be possible to conceive of individual acts that can, in a strong sense, be intended retroactively. This could happen when the relational patterns in social interaction literally alter the virtual structure of a participant's past corporeal intentions resulting in an odd experience of having intended something all along without knowing it. I…Read more