Brain Patterns Shaping Embodied Activities of Their Bodily Limbs in Perception and Cognition

Qeios (2023)
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Abstract

This essay aims to expose the metaphysical underpinnings of enactivism. While enactivism relies heavily on rejecting the traditional mind-body problem by excluding the familiar thought experiments that favor phenomenal dualism, the crucial point that is overlooked is instead the brain-body problem, specifically the crucial interaction between the brain and the bodily limbs in their embodied activities of perception and cognition. If enactivism is correct, differences in sensory experience necessarily entail differences in embodied activity—this is the metaphysical core of enactivism, which we think is entirely wrong. We will argue that a physical or biological body ("Körper") is configured or shaped into a perceptually living body ("Leib") by brain patterns and not by embodied activity or by the so-called sensorimotor contingencies. Undoubtedly, embodied actions influence sensory perception. However, since variations in embodied actions do not necessarily lead to variations in sensory experience, they are not metaphysically constitutive of these experiences (supervenience claim).

Author Profiles

Victor Machado Barcellos
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Roberto Horácio De Pereira
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Sérgio Farias De Souza Filho
Federal Rural University of Pernambuco

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