Resolving Two Tensions in 4E Cognition Using Wide Computationalism

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 militates against the distributed tendencies of extended cognition and (ii) that the body/environment distinction emphasized by enactivism runs counter to 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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