Publication 7443

Myin E. & Loughlin V. (2018) Sensorimotor enactive approaches to consciousness. In: Gennaro R. J. (ed.) Routledge handbook of consciousness. Routledge, Abingdon: 202–215. Fulltext at
Excerpt: This chapter will be devoted to unpacking the sensorimotor thesis that experience is something we do, and explicating how it helps to deal with the philosophical problem of consciousness. The key to understanding the sensorimotor position, so we propose, is to recognize it as a form of identity theory. Like the early mind/brain identity theorists, the sensorimotor approach holds that the solution to the philosophical problem of phenomenal experience lies in realizing that phenomenal experience is identical with something which, while at first sight might seem different, turns out not to be different after all. Like the classical identity theorists, sensorimotor theorists reject the claim that identities can and need to be further explained once identification is made. Sensorimotor theorists consequently oppose the idea that there is a genuine scientific issue with the identity relation between experience and what perceivers do. However, unlike other identity positions, the identification proposed by the sensorimotor approach is wide. That is, conscious experience is identified, not with internal or neural processes, but instead with bodily (including neural) processes in spatially and temporally extended interactions with environments.

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