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  1. Is Collective Agency a Coherent Idea? Considerations From the Enactive Theory of Agency.Mog Stapleton & Tom Froese - 2015 - In Catrin Misselhorn (ed.), Collective Agency and Cooperation in Natural and Artificial Systems. Springer Verlag. pp. 219-236.
    Whether collective agency is a coherent concept depends on the theory of agency that we choose to adopt. We argue that the enactive theory of agency developed by Barandiaran, Di Paolo and Rohde (2009) provides a principled way of grounding agency in biological organisms. However the importance of biological embodiment for the enactive approach might lead one to be skeptical as to whether artificial systems or collectives of individuals could instantiate genuine agency. To explore this issue we contrast the concept (...)
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  • The Enactive Philosophy of Embodiment: From Biological Foundations of Agency to the Phenomenology of Subjectivity.Mog Stapleton & Froese Tom - 2016 - In Miguel García-Valdecasas, José Ignacio Murillo & Nathaniel Barrett (eds.), Biology and Subjectivity Philosophical Contributions to Non-reductive Neuroscience. Springer Verlag. pp. 113-129.
    Following the philosophy of embodiment of Merleau-Ponty, Jonas and others, enactivism is a pivot point from which various areas of science can be brought into a fruitful dialogue about the nature of subjectivity. In this chapter we present the enactive conception of agency, which, in contrast to current mainstream theories of agency, is deeply and strongly embodied. In line with this thinking we argue that anything that ought to be considered a genuine agent is a biologically embodied (even if distributed) (...)
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  • The Minimal Self Needs a Social Update.Miriam Kyselo - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (7):1057-1065.
    REVIEW ESSAY The minimal self needs a social update Self and other: Exploring subjectivity, empathy, and shame, by Dan Zahavi, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015, 304 pp.
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  • From Biological to Synthetic Neurorobotics Approaches to Understanding the Structure Essential to Consciousness (Part 3).Jeffrey White - forthcoming - APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers.
    This third paper locates the synthetic neurorobotics research reviewed in the second paper in terms of themes introduced in the first paper. It begins with biological non-reductionism as understood by Searle. It emphasizes the role of synthetic neurorobotics studies in accessing the dynamic structure essential to consciousness with a focus on system criticality and self, develops a distinction between simulated and formal consciousness based on this emphasis, reviews Tani and colleagues' work in light of this distinction, and ends by forecasting (...)
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  • Enactivism, Action and Normativity: A Wittgensteinian Analysis.Manuel Heras-Escribano, Jason Noble & Manuel De Pinedo García - 2015 - Adaptive Behavior 23 (1):20-33.
    In this paper, we offer a criticism, inspired by Wittgenstein’s rule-following considerations, of the enactivist account of perception and action. We start by setting up a non-descriptivist naturalism regarding the mind and continue by defining enactivism and exploring its more attractive theoretical features. We then proceed to analyse its proposal to understand normativity non-socially. We argue that such a thesis is ultimately committed to the problematic idea that normative practices can be understood as private and factual. Finally, we offer a (...)
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  • The Only Wrong Cell is the Dead One: On the Enactive Approach to Normativity.Manuel Heras-Escribano, Jason Noble & Manuel De Pinedo García - 2013 - In Advances in Artificial Life (ECAL 2013). Cambridge, Massachusetts, EE. UU.: pp. 665-670.
    In this paper we challenge the notion of ‘normativity’ used by some enactive approaches to cognition. We define some varieties of enactivism and their assumptions and make explicit the reasoning behind the co-emergence of individuality and normativity. Then we argue that appealing to dispositions for explaining some living processes can be more illuminating than claiming that all such processes are normative. For this purpose, we will present some considerations, inspired by Wittgenstein, regarding norm-establishing and norm-following and show that attributions of (...)
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  • Naturalism, Non-Factualism, and Normative Situated Behaviour.Manuel Heras-Escribano & Manuel de Pinedo-García - 2018 - South African Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):80-98.
    This paper argues that the normative character of our unreflective situated behaviour is not factual. We highlight a problematic assumption shared by the two most influential trends in contemporary philosophy of cognitive science, reductionism and enactivism. Our intentional, normative explanations are referential, descriptive or factual. Underneath this assumption lies the idea that only facts can make true or false our attributions of cognitive, mental and agential abilities. We will argue against this view by describing the main features and problems of (...)
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  • Agency, Qualia and Life: Connecting Mind and Body Biologically.David Longinotti - 2017 - In Vincent Müller (ed.), Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence 2017. Cham: Springer. pp. 43-56.
    Many believe that a suitably programmed computer could act for its own goals and experience feelings. I challenge this view and argue that agency, mental causation and qualia are all founded in the unique, homeostatic nature of living matter. The theory was formulated for coherence with the concept of an agent, neuroscientific data and laws of physics. By this method, I infer that a successful action is homeostatic for its agent and can be caused by a feeling - which does (...)
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  • Your Body, My Body, Our Coupling Moves Our Bodies.Guillaume Dumas, Julien Laroche & Alexandre Lehmann - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8.
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  • Bio-Machine Hybrid Technology: A Theoretical Assessment and Some Suggestions for Improved Future Design. [REVIEW]Tom Froese - 2014 - Philosophy and Technology 27 (4):539-560.
    In sociology, there has been a controversy about whether there is any essential difference between a human being and a tool, or if the tool–user relationship can be defined by co-actor symmetry. This issue becomes more complex when we consider examples of AI and robots, and even more so following progress in the development of various bio-machine hybrid technologies, such as robots that include organic parts, human brain implants, and adaptive prosthetics. It is argued that a concept of autonomous agency (...)
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  • Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2018 - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John A. Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology.
    This chapter draws on insights from non-equilibrium thermodynamics to demonstrate the ontological inadequacy of the machine conception of the organism. The thermodynamic character of living systems underlies the importance of metabolism and calls for the adoption of a processual view, exemplified by the Heraclitean metaphor of the stream of life. This alternative conception is explored in its various historical formulations and the extent to which it captures the nature of living systems is examined. Following this, the chapter considers the metaphysical (...)
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  • Cognition From Life: The Two Modes of Cognition That Underlie Moral Behavior.Tjeerd C. Andringa, Kirsten A. Van Den Bosch & Nanda Wijermans - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • Sociality and the Life–Mind Continuity Thesis.Tom Froese & Ezequiel A. Di Paolo - 2009 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):439-463.
    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 prevalent in cognitive science. Accordingly, a (...)
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  • Genidentity and Biological Processes.Thomas Pradeu - 2018 - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford University Press.
    A crucial question for a process view of life is how to identify a process and how to follow it through time. The genidentity view can contribute decisively to this project. It says that the identity through time of an entity X is given by a well-identified series of continuous states of affairs. Genidentity helps address the problem of diachronic identity in the living world. This chapter describes the centrality of the concept of genidentity for David Hull and proposes an (...)
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  • Dynamic Embodied Cognition.Leon C. de Bruin & Lena Kästner - 2012 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):541-563.
    Abstract In this article, we investigate the merits of an enactive view of cognition for the contemporary debate about social cognition. If enactivism is to be a genuine alternative to classic cognitivism, it should be able to bridge the “cognitive gap”, i.e. provide us with a convincing account of those higher forms of cognition that have traditionally been the focus of its cognitivist opponents. We show that, when it comes to social cognition, current articulations of enactivism are—despite their celebrated successes (...)
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  • Landscape and Health: Connecting Psychology, Aesthetics, and Philosophy Through the Concept of Affordance.Laura Menatti & Antonio Casado da Rocha - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • Agency is Distinct From Autonomy.Fred Cummins - 2014 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies (2):98-112.
    Both autonomy and agency play central roles in the emerging enactive vocabulary. Although some treat these concepts as practically synonymous, others have sought to be more explicit about the conditions required for agency over and above autonomy. I attempt to be self-conscious about the role of the observer (or scientist) in such discussions, and emphasise that the concept of agency, in particular, is deeply entwined with the nature of the observer and the framing of the observation. This is probably well (...)
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  • Autonomy in Evolution: From Minimal to Complex Life.Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo & Alvaro Moreno - 2012 - Synthese 185 (1):21-52.
    Our aim in the present paper is to approach the nature of life from the perspective of autonomy, showing that this perspective can be helpful for overcoming the traditional Cartesian gap between the physical and cognitive domains. We first argue that, although the phenomenon of life manifests itself as highly complex and multidimensional, requiring various levels of description, individual organisms constitute the core of this multifarious phenomenology. Thereafter, our discussion focuses on the nature of the organization of individual living entities, (...)
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  • Agency, Meaning, Perception and Mimicry: Perspectives From the Process of Life and Third Way of Evolution.R. I. Vane-Wright - 2019 - Biosemiotics 12 (1):57-77.
    The concept of biological mimicry is viewed as a ‘process of life’ theory rather than a ‘process of change’ theory—regardless of the historical interest and heuristic value of the subject for the study of evolution. Mimicry is a dynamic ecological system reflecting the possibilities for mutualism and parasitism created by a pre-established bipartite signal-based relationship between two organisms – a potential model and its signal receiver. In a mimicry system agency and perception play essential, interconnected roles. Mimicry thus describes emergent (...)
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  • Modelling Early Transitions Toward Autonomous Protocells.Benjamin John Shirt-Ediss - unknown
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  • Language and Other Artifacts: Socio-Cultural Dynamics of Niche Construction.Chris Sinha - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • An Enactive and Dynamical Systems Theory Account of Dyadic Relationships.Miriam Kyselo & Wolfgang Tschacher - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  • Enacting a Social Ecology: Radically Embodied Intersubjectivity.Marek McGann - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  • A New Framework for Enactivism: Understanding the Enactive Body Through Structural Flexibility and Merleau-Ponty’s Ontology of Flesh.Jenkinson John - unknown
    The enactive approach to cognition and consciousness offers a valuable alternative to the standard approaches dominant in the sciences of mind. As an embodied account, enactivism incorporates theoretical perspectives on the body from phenomenology, cognitive science, and biology, which provides a unique interpretation of embodiment with critical insight into the embodied nature of cognition and consciousness. Nonetheless, I argue that several revisions are required to make enactivism viable within the context of the sciences of mind. The enactive account of subjectivity (...)
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  • Collective Agency and the Concept of ‘Public’ in Public Involvement: A Practice-Oriented Analysis.Tobias Hainz, Sabine Bossert & Daniel Strech - 2016 - BMC Medical Ethics 17 (1):1-14.
    BackgroundPublic involvement activities are promoted as measures for ensuring good governance in challenging fields, such as biomedical research and innovation. Proponents of public involvement activities include individual researchers as well as non-governmental and governmental organizations. However, the concept of ‘public’ in public involvement deserves more attention by researchers because it is not purely theoretical: it has important practical functions in the guidance, evaluation and translation of public involvement activities.DiscussionThis article focuses on collective agency as one property a public as a (...)
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  • The Evolution of Soundscape Appraisal Through Enactive Cognition.Kirsten A.-M. van den Bosch, David Welch & Tjeerd C. Andringa - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • What Makes Complex Systems Complex?Russ Abbott - 2018 - Journal on Policy and Complex Systems 4 (2):77-113.
    This paper explores some of the factors that make complex systems complex. We first examine the history of complex systems. It was Aristotle’s insight that how elements are joined together helps determine the properties of the resulting whole. We find (a) that scientific reductionism does not provide a sufficient explanation; (b) that to understand complex systems, one must identify and trace energy flows; and (c) that disproportionate causality, including global tipping points, are all around us. Disproportionate causality results from the (...)
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  • How Do Soccer Players Adjust Their Activity in Team Coordination? An Enactive Phenomenological Analysis.Vincent Gesbert, Annick Durny & Denis Hauw - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
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  • Locked-in Syndrome and BCI - Towards an Enactive Approach to the Self.Miriam Kyselo - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (3):579-591.
    It has been argued that Extended Cognition (EXT), a recently much discussed framework in the philosophy of cognition, would serve as the theoretical basis to account for the impact of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) on the self and life of patients with Locked-in Syndrome (LIS). In this paper I will argue that this claim is unsubstantiated, EXT is not the appropriate theoretical background for understanding the role of BCI in LIS. I will critically assess what a theory of the extended (...)
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  • What’s the Matter with Cognition? A ‘Vygotskian’ Perspective on Material Engagement Theory.Georg Theiner & Chris Drain - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (5):837-862.
    The cross-disciplinary framework of Material Engagement Theory (MET) has emerged as a novel research program that flexibly spans archeology, anthropology, philosophy, and cognitive science. True to its slogan to ‘take material culture seriously’, “MET wants to change our understanding of what minds are and what they are made of by changing what we know about what things are and what they do for the mind” (Malafouris 2013, 141). By tracing out more clearly the conceptual contours of ‘material engagement,’ and firming (...)
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  • The Sense of Agency – a Phenomenological Consequence of Enacting Sensorimotor Schemes.Thomas Buhrmann & Ezequiel Di Paolo - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (2):207-236.
    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 braiding three theoretical strands: a world-involving, dynamical interpretation of (...)
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  • Biosemiotics, the Extended Synthesis, and Ecological Information: Making Sense of the Organism-Environment Relation at the Cognitive Level.Manuel Heras-Escribano & Paulo de Jesus - 2018 - Biosemiotics 11 (2):245-262.
    This paper argues that the Extended Synthesis, ecological information, and biosemiotics are complementary approaches whose engagement will help us explain the organism-environment interaction at the cognitive level. The Extended Synthesis, through niche construction theory, can explain the organism-environment interaction at an evolutionary level because niche construction is a process guided by information. We believe that the best account that defines information at this level is the one offered by biosemiotics and, within all kinds of biosemiotic information available, we believe that (...)
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  • Synthetic Biology: Challenging Life in Order to Grasp, Use, or Extend It.Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo & Alvaro Moreno - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (4):376-382.
    In this short contribution we explore the historical roots of recent synthetic approaches in biology and try to assess their real potential, as well as identify future hurdles or the reasons behind some of the main difficulties they currently face. We suggest that part of these difficulties might not be just the result of our present lack of adequate technical skills or understanding, but could spring directly from the nature of the biological phenomenon itself. In particular, if life is conceived (...)
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  • Thinking Through Enactive Agency: Sense-Making, Bio-Semiosis and the Ontologies of Organismic Worlds.Paulo De Jesus - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (5):861-887.
    According to enactivism all living systems, from single cell organisms to human beings, are ontologically endowed with some form of teleological and sense-making agency. Furthermore, enactivists maintain that: there is no fixed pregiven world and as a consequence all organisms “bring forth” their own unique “worlds” through processes of sense-making. The first half of the paper takes these two ontological claims as its central focus and aims to clarify and make explicit the arguments and motivations underlying them. Our analysis here (...)
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  • Autopoietic Enactivism, Phenomenology and the Deep Continuity Between Life and Mind.Paulo De Jesus - 2016 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (2):265-289.
    In their recent book Radicalizing Enactivism. Basic minds without content, Dan Hutto and Erik Myin make two important criticisms of what they call autopoietic enactivism. These two criticisms are that AE harbours tacit representationalists commitments and that it has too liberal a conception of cognition. Taking the latter claim as its main focus, this paper explores the theoretical underpinnings of AE in order to tease out how it might respond to H&M. In so doing it uncovers some reasons which not (...)
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  • Playing with Clay and the Uncertainty of Agency. A Material Engagement Theory Perspective.Paul Louis March - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (1):133-151.
    I describe how close attention to the process of sculpting clay from the perspective of Material Engagement Theory can create a detailed description of a mutable sense of agency and of self. First, I show that sculpting is associated with a loss of sense of agency and self. Second, that to sense agency as a systemic phenomenon creates anxiety. Third, that meaning in an art encounter develops in association with an anterospective viewpoint. Fourth, that within the logic of the extended (...)
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  • Natural Sources of Normativity.Wayne Christensen - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):104-112.
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  • Anticipatory Functions, Digital-Analog Forms and Biosemiotics: Integrating the Tools to Model Information and Normativity in Autonomous Biological Agents.Argyris Arnellos, Luis Emilio Bruni, Charbel Niño El-Hani & John Collier - 2012 - Biosemiotics 5 (3):331-367.
    We argue that living systems process information such that functionality emerges in them on a continuous basis. We then provide a framework that can explain and model the normativity of biological functionality. In addition we offer an explanation of the anticipatory nature of functionality within our overall approach. We adopt a Peircean approach to Biosemiotics, and a dynamical approach to Digital-Analog relations and to the interplay between different levels of functionality in autonomous systems, taking an integrative approach. We then apply (...)
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  • Multicellular Agency: An Organizational View.Argyris Arnellos & Alvaro Moreno - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (3):333-357.
    We argue that the transition from unicellular to multicellular systems raises important conceptual challenges for understanding agency. We compare several MC systems displaying different forms of collective behavior, and we analyze whether these actions can be considered organismically integrated and attributable to the whole. We distinguish between a ‘constitutive’ and an ‘interactive’ dimension of organizational complexity, and we argue that MC agency requires a radical entanglement between the related processes which we call “the constitutive-interactive closure principle”. We explain in detail (...)
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