Autonomy and Enactivism

Xabier E. Barandiaran

I have finished the last revision of journal paper entitle “Autonomy and Enactivism“. It explores the conceptual tension between the concept of autonomy (self-organized closure of neural activity) and the sensorimotor constitution of cognition. I have long witnesses a generalized confusion, whose roots I explore in the paper, between two major schools of enactivism (the cognitive science paradigm that focuses on sensorimotor coupling and self-organized dynamics of brain, body and environment). On the one hand what I have called “sensorimotor enactivism”, a school that has gained momentum thanks to the work of Alva Noë and Kevin O’Regan on sensorimotor contingencies. On the other hand what I have called “autonomist enactivism” with a particular focus on biological embodiment and the self-organized nature of brain and body. The gap between both schools has being growing recently, partly motivated by the lack of a clear notion of sensorimotorly constituted neurodynamic autonomy…

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