Resolving Two Tensions in 4E Cognition Using Wide Computationalism

In A. Howes G. Gunzelmann (ed.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of Cognitive Science Society. London, UK: pp. 2395-2400 (2017)
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Abstract
Recently, some authors have begun to raise questions about the potential unity of 4E (enactive, embedded, embodied, extended) cognition as a distinct research programme within cognitive science. Two tensions, in particular, have been raised:(i) that the body-centric claims embodied cognition militate against the distributed tendencies of extended cognition and (ii) that the body/environment distinction emphasized by enactivism stands in tension with the world-spanning claims of extended cognition. The goal of this paper is to resolve tensions (i) and (ii). The proposal is that a form of ‘wide computationalism’can be used to reconcile the two tensions and, in so doing, articulate a common theoretical core for 4E cognition.
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