Culture in Mind - An Enactivist Account: Not Cognitive Penetration But Cultural Permeation

In Laurence J. Kirmayer, Carol M. Worthman, Shinobu Kitayama, Robert Lemelson & Constance Cummings (eds.), Culture, mind, and brain: Emerging concepts, models, applications. New York, NY, USA: (forthcoming)
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Abstract
Advancing a radically enactive account of cognition, we provide arguments in favour of the possibility that cultural factors permeate rather than penetrate cognition, such that cognition extensively and transactionally incorporates cultural factors rather than there being any question of cultural factors having to break into the restricted confines of cognition. The paper reviews the limitations of two classical cognitivist, modularist accounts of cognition and a revisionary, new order variant of cognitivism – a Predictive Processing account of Cognition, or PPC. It argues that the cognitivist interpretation of PPC is conservatively and problematically attached to the idea of inner models and stored knowledge. In abandoning that way of understanding PPC, it offers a radically enactive alternative account of how cultural factors matter to cognition – one that abandons all vestiges of the idea that cultural factors might contentfully communicate with basic forms of cognition. In place of that idea, the possibility that culture permeates cognition is promoted.
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