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Article

The Revolution will not be Optimised: Radical Enactivism, Extended Functionalism and the Extensive Mind

Citation
Wheeler M (2017) The Revolution will not be Optimised: Radical Enactivism, Extended Functionalism and the Extensive Mind, Topoi, 36 (3), pp. 457-472.

Abstract
Optimising the 4E (embodied–embedded–extended–enactive) revolution in cognitive science arguably requires the rejection of two guiding commitments made by orthodox thinking in the field, namely that the material realisers of cognitive states and processes are located entirely inside the head (internalism), and that intelligent thought and action are to be explained in terms of the building and manipulation of content-bearing representations (representationalism). In other words, the full-strength 4E revolution would be secured only by a position that delivered externalism plus antirepresentationalism. I argue that one view in 4E space—extended functionalism—is appropriately poised to deliver externalism but not antirepresentationalism. By contrast, in the case of a competing 4E view—radical enactivism—even if that view can deliver antirepresentationalism, its pivotal notion of extensiveness falls short of establishing externalism. These conclusions are justified via an examination of, and by responding critically to, certain key arguments offered in support of their view (and against extended functionalism) by the radical enactivists.

Keywords
Enactivism; Extended cognition; Extensive cognition; Representation; Vehicle externalism

Journal
Topoi: Volume 36, Issue 3

StatusPublished
AuthorWheeler, Michael
Publication date01/09/2017
Publication date online20/10/2015
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/23602
PublisherSpringer
ISSN 0167-7411
LanguageEnglish
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