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[Xmca-l] Re: How embodied is Cognition?



To add to what may be *radical* [going to the root]  I was pulled in by the
notion of *family resemblance* in this section:

 "It has encouraged some to question whether perceiving, and cognition, is
best understood as neatly carved off from temporally extended embodied
activity. It is now a serious hypothesis that cognition may not be
wholly  brainbound
and wider embodied engagements may replace or reduce the need to posit
calculations over mental representations when explaining how we complete
many, if not all, cognitive tasks. The  possibility that thinking may occur
in action and not only in the head or the brain is under serious discussion
and investigation. The E-movement, which first established itself in the
early 1990s, has begun to mature and has now surely come of age.

 Even so there is no single agreed upon framework. The various E-approaches
are best understood as family. The members of the family all have some
things in common. They are related in terms of their common origins –
usually in resisting traditional ways of thinking about mind and cognition
more or less staunchly. But, as with many families, there are also some
divisions and certainly not all members of the family subscribe to anything
like a single unifying set of central tenets. For the most part, although
different members of the E-family might be able to sit at the table
together and to agree on the importance of certain issues it is not as if
all members of the family see eye to eye on every issue. There are some
disagreements, even quite fierce disagreements, on matters of importance
amongst members of the E-family. This is, of course, where the nice
philosophical work needs to be done."

If the e-movement, [movement as sharing a family resemblance] and having
now come of age,  may productively engage in philosophical work [and art]
with other traditions.

Annalisa has asked about feelings and Raymond Williams mentions the social
reality  of *structures of feeling* that express a *felt mood* as a *sense*
that is *relevant* that has not as yet reached a level of conscious
articulation. Could this e-movement be an example of this *structure of
feeling* rising to a level of articulation?

Larry

On Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 10:33 PM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:

> Mike,
> That’s what I thought. I especially like the image of “dialogue with the
> periphery” as “the motor driving developmental change” of all living
> things, all of creation really, as Darwin sees it. Reaching out. Call and
> response. Not just embodied, but agency, actively seeking connection
> temporally and spatially. I love Hutto and and McGivern’s final paragraph:
>
> "Given these challenges it is important to note that radical E-approaches
> are often motivated by a deeper philosophical concern. There are serious
> grounds for thinking that we may never get a convincing explanation of how
> content-bearing mental representations fit into the natural order – not
> even at the end of science. On standard realistic assumptions, if this
> turns out to be true – barring mysterianism – this gives us reason to be
> skeptical about the existence of mental representations and the idea that
> they play a part in causally explaining behavior. However, mental
> representations might be understood literally or fictionally. This opens up
> the possibility that even if mental representations do not, in fact,
> literally exist, positing them may still play some other crucial
> explanatory role in our accounts of cognition. However, its proponents
> encounter other powerful worries – such as explaining what ultimately
> grounds the content of the models that posit mental representations if not
> mental representations.”
>
> This, it seems to me, isn’t where science ends, but where science and art
> blend in creativity. Is this radical? “Mysterianism”?
>
> Henry
>
>
>
> > On Jan 6, 2015, at 10:17 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> >
> > This part sure sounds radical, Henry:
> >
> > in principle no difference between the processes engendering, walking,
> > reaching, and looking for hidden objects and those resulting in
> mathematics
> > and poetry.” (p. xxiii)
> >
> > On Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 2:17 PM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >> Greg,
> >> While reading about what Hutto and McGivern on “radical E-approaches to
> >> cognition I remembered reading a book by Esther Thelen and Linda Smith
> , A
> >> Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action
> (1994).
> >> Here are three quotes:
> >> “We conclude here that, as all mental activity is emergent, situated,
> >> historical and embodied, there is in principle no difference between the
> >> processes engendering, walking, reaching, and looking for hidden objects
> >> and those resulting in mathematics and poetry.” (p. xxiii)
> >>
> >> and
> >>
> >> “Walking in intact animals is not controlled by an abstraction but in a
> >> continual dialogue with the periphery…What sculpts movement patterns are
> >> these peripheral demands, not cartoons of the movement that exist
> >> beforehand…Cats and humans do not walk in abstractions. They walk in a
> >> gravity-dominated, variable, and changing world for different functional
> >> purposes. “(p. 9)
> >>
> >> and
> >>
> >> “In chicks, as in frogs and humans, a dialogue with the periphery is an
> >> essential motor, driving developmental change.” (p. 19)
> >>
> >>
> >> I wonder if Hutto and McGivern would call this radical.
> >>
> >> Henry
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> On Jan 6, 2015, at 10:36 AM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> I thought this short article "How embodied is Cognition?" by Daniel
> Hutto
> >>> might be a nice piece to bring together with the pre-frontal discussion
> >> in
> >>> the other thread (not as counterpoint but as complement):
> >>>
> >>> https://www.academia.edu/9614435/How_Embodied_Is_Cognition
> >>>
> >>> Here is a teaser:
> >>> "E is the letter, if not the word, in today’s sciences of mind. E
> >>> adjectives proliferate. Nowadays it is hard to avoid claims that
> >> cognition
> >>> – perceiving, imagining, decision-making, planning – is best understood
> >> in
> >>> E terms of some sort. The list of E-terms is long: embodied, enactive,
> >>> extended, embedded, ecological, engaged, emotional, expressive,
> emergent
> >>> and so on. This short piece explains: the big idea behind this
> movement;
> >>> how it is inspired by empirical findings; why it matters; and what
> >>> questions the field will face in the future. It focuses on the stronger
> >> and
> >>> weaker ways that..."
> >>> -greg
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> >>> Assistant Professor
> >>> Department of Anthropology
> >>> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> >>> Brigham Young University
> >>> Provo, UT 84602
> >>> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> > --
> > It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science as an
> object
> > that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>
>
>