Marek McGann

MIC, Limerick
  •  11
    Loud Crisis, Quiet Crisis: Varela's Proposal Resonates in Contemporary Psychological Science (review)
    Constructivist Foundations 13 (1): 68-69. 2017.
    Varela’s proposal that science should be open to the phenomena of experience is radical primarily because of the strangely constrained practices of psychological science. Methodological and professional crises within contemporary psychological science resonate with the issues raised by Varela and others, and addressing them effectively will mean following Varela’s, and Martiny’s, advice.
  •  39
    Enactivism and Ecological Psychology: Divided by Common Ground
    Constructivist Foundations 11 (2): 312-315. 2016.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Perception-Action Mutuality Obviates Mental Construction” by Martin Flament Fultot, Lin Nie & Claudia Carello. Upshot: Fultot, Nie, and Carello are correct that enactive researchers should be more aware of the research literature on ecological psychology, but their charge of mental construction is off-target. Enactivism and ecological psychology are compatible frameworks with different, complementary, emphases.
  •  19
    Doing it and meaning it (and the relationship between the two)
    with Steve Torrance
    Consciousness and Emotion: Agency, Conscious Choice, and Selective Perception. forthcoming.
  •  118
    Noise, the mess, and the inexhaustible world
    In Basil Vassilicos, Guiseppe Torre & Fabio Tommy Pellizzer (eds.), The experience of noise, Macmillan. forthcoming.
    This chapter outlines an embodied conception of noise. From an enactive and ecological perspective noise is an inevitable complement to the richness of bodily sensitivities and complex actions. The world around us, the universe, is replete, full of inexhaustible texture available to be explored at every scale at which we are capable, or can become capable, of making distinctions. Drawing on work in ecological psychology I suggest that noise is our experience of that encompassing fullness, and ca…Read more
  • Action-Oriented Understanding of Consciousness and the Structure of Experience
    with Anil Seth, Richard Menary, Paul Verschure, Jamie Turnbull, Martina Martina Martina Al, Judith Ford, Chris Frith, Pierre Jacob, Miriam Kyselo, Ezequiel Di Paolo, and Kevin Andrew Kevin
    In Karl Friston, Andreas Andreas & Danika Kragic (eds.), Pragmatism and the Pragmatic Turn in Cognitive Science, M.i.t. Press. pp. 261-281. 2016.
  •  250
    Facing Life: The messy bodies of enactive cognitive science
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1-18. forthcoming.
    Descriptions of bodies within the literature of the enactive approach to cognitive science exhibit an interesting dialectical tension. On the one hand, a body is considered to be a unity which instantiates an identity, forming an intrinsic basis for value. On the other, a living body is in a reciprocally defining relationship with the environment, and is therefore immersed and entangled with, rather than distinct from, its environment. In this paper I examine this tension, and its implications f…Read more
  •  128
    Perceptual Modalities: Modes of Presentation or Modes of Interaction?
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (1-2): 1-2. 2010.
    Perceptual modalities have been traditionally considered the product of dedicated biological systems producing information for higher cognitive processing. Psychological and neuropsychological evidence is offered which undermines this point of view and an alternative account of modality from the enactive approach to understanding cognition is suggested. Under this view, a perceptual modality is a stable form of perception which is structured not just by the biological sensitivities of the agent,…Read more
  •  16
    What is it like to be a Jedi? A Life in the Force
    In Jason T. Eberl & Kevin S. Decker (eds.), The Ultimate Star Wars and Philosophy, Wiley. 2015-09-18.
    The world of Jedi is very different from our own, that their awareness of the universe is more encompassing, richer. The Jedi call that mystical aspect of reality they perceive the Force. Jedi younglings and padawans must put their body to new uses, perform new tasks, and learn new skills in physical activities that have profound effects on the way they see the world around them. What the Jedi say more than anything else about the Force is that it flows. Jedi who are able to coordinate their act…Read more
  •  571
    From Wide Cognition to Mechanisms: A Silent Revolution
    with Marcin Miłkowski, Robert Clowes, Zuzanna Rucińska, Aleksandra Przegalińska, Tadeusz Zawidzki, Joel Krueger, Adam Gies, Łukasz Afeltowicz, Witold Wachowski, Fredrik Stjernberg, Victor Loughlin, and Mateusz Hohol
    Frontiers in Psychology 9. 2018.
    In this paper, we argue that several recent ‘wide’ perspectives on cognition (embodied, embedded, extended, enactive, and distributed) are only partially relevant to the study of cognition. While these wide accounts override traditional methodological individualism, the study of cognition has already progressed beyond these proposed perspectives towards building integrated explanations of the mechanisms involved, including not only internal submechanisms but also interactions with others, groups…Read more
  •  103
    Self–other contingencies: Enacting social perception
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4): 417-437. 2009.
    Can we see the expressiveness of other people's gestures, hear the intentions in their voice, see the emotions in their posture? Traditional theories of social cognition still say we cannot because intentions and emotions for them are hidden away inside and we do not have direct access to them. Enactive theories still have no idea because they have so far mainly focused on perception of our physical world. We surmise, however, that the latter hold promise since, in trying to understand cognition…Read more
  •  76
    Enactive and ecological approaches to cognitive science both claim a “mutuality” between agents and their environments – that they have a complementary nature and should be addressed as a single whole system. Despite this apparent agreement, each offers criticisms of the other on precisely this point – enactivists claiming that ecological psychologists over-emphasise the environment, while the complementary criticism, of agent-centred constructivism, is levelled by ecological psychologists at en…Read more
  •  96
    Despite recent close attention to issues related to the reliability of psychological research, issues of the validity of this research have not been considered to the same extent. This paper highlights an issue that calls into question the validity of the common research practice of studying samples of individuals, and using sample-based statistics to infer generalizations that are applied not only to the parent population, but to individuals. The lack of ergodicity in human data means that such…Read more
  •  299
    Qualities of Consent: An enactive approach to making better sense
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1-23. 2023.
    Philosophical work on the concept of consent in the past few decades has got to grips with it as a rich notion. We are increasingly sensitive to consent not as a momentary, atomic, transactional thing, but as a complex idea admitting of various qualities and dimensions. In this paper we note that the recognition of this complexity demands a theoretical framework quite different to those presently extant, and we suggest that the enactive approach is one which offers significant value in this rega…Read more