Publication 2473

Barrett N. F. (2015) The normative turn in enactive theory: An examination of its roots and implications. Topoi : Online first. Fulltext at
This paper traces the development of enactive concepts of value and normativity from their roots in the canonical work of Varela et al. (Embodied mind: cognitive science and human experience. MIT Press, Cambridge, 1991) through more recent works of Ezequiel Di Paolo and others. It aims to show the central importance of these concepts for enactive theory while exposing a potentially troublesome ambiguity in their definition. Most definitions of enactive normativity are purely proscriptive, but it seems that enactive theories of cognitive agency and experience demand something more. On the other hand, it is not clear that anything other than proscriptive normativity can be made compatible with the enactive tenet of autonomy and the rejection of representations.


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