Dancing with 4E Cognitive Science and Human Science Psychology

Middle Voices (forthcoming)
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Abstract
According to the “Embodied Cognition” entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the three landmark texts in the 4E cognitive science tradition are Lakoff and Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By, Varela, Thompson, and Rosch’s The Embodied Mind, and Andy Clark’s Being There. In my first section, I offer a phenomenological interpretation of these three texts, identifying recuring affirmations of the figure of dance alongside explicit marginalization of the practice of dance, perhaps in part due to cognitive science’s overemphasis on cognition to the exclusion of affect. In my second section, drawing on my previous interpretations of proto-affect theorists (including Spinoza, Deleuze, and Fanon), I channel this tension in 4E cognitive science into a dancing partnership with human science psychology, suggesting three “choreographic provocations” for therapeutic practice and psychological research, namely (1) treating clients/subjects as dancers, (2) reimagining research and therapy as improvised duets between practitioners and clients/subjects, and (3) pursuing an ideal of freer movement and an emergent flourishing singularity for clients/subjects. Finally, I reformulate these three choreographic provocations in terms of my new theoretical method of “dancing-with,” as well as the four psychological prerequisites for flourishing posited by my figuration philosophy of dance.
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Archival date: 2021-04-29
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