The present paper wants to show the extent to which prosody, or best, prosodies, as Firth (1948) put it, contribute in their own and specific ways to enaction, at various levels of operational closure. On the one hand prosodies (stress, accent, melody) are linked to speech and exchange in a non-escapable fashion, as opposed to gesture for example. Hearing speech implies hearing syllables, tones, intensity variations; it does not imply seeing face or gesture (though one may object the language-dependency of prosody – gesture pairings). Simon & Auchlin (2004) described the independent timings of parameters, such as pitch range, height and intensity, speech rate: the first two or three syllables of speech alone inform on speaker sex, age, mood, investment in speech, importance of speech for her, or intentionality; the meaning of the whole utterance is obtained much later, thus the first flow somehow frames the second which, in turn, may allow blending with previously accessed information. In that way, linguistic meaning incorporates prosodic manifestations. On the other hand, one of the most basic prosodic dimensions, namely speech rate (articulation rate + pauses) is properly speaking a shared dimension between speaker and hearer: no one can hear slowly, or more rapidly than the speaker speaks. Speech rate is properly un-escapable, or necessarily shared dimension in dialogue. Indeed, interpreting is constantly anticipating – but anticipations timing still depends upon speech rate. Note that speech rate is also un-escapable for the observer, provided (s) he enacts the discourse, turning herself into a participant in the piece of interaction (s) he wants to describe (Auchlin, 1999). Sharing the temporal grid, i. e. entering it, is essential to such now. Indeed, interactionists’ work (P. Auer, E. Couper-Kuhlen, F. Müller; M. Selting; J. Local, i. a.) precisely describe verbal interactions’’ ballet temporality. Yet, their descriptive claim, which constrains empirical work, deliberately rejects any kind of theoretical conclusion or generalization; and their need to '‘objectively’’ describe speech events firmly contradicts what is mandatory for the enactive approach, namely the epistemological experientialist turn, first posited by Lakoff & Johnson (1980). The present paper examines a couple of emblematic cases of prosodic enacting meaning experience that should contribute to grounding the concept, both on its epistemological and its empirical sides.
Colombetti G. (2017) Enactive affectivity, extended. Topoi 36(3): 445–455. https://cepa.info/5681
In this paper I advance an enactive view of affectivity that does not imply that affectivity must stop at the boundaries of the organism. I first review the enactive notion of “sense-making”, and argue that it entails that cognition is inherently affective. Then I review the proposal, advanced by Di Paolo (Topoi 28:9–21, 2009), that the enactive approach allows living systems to “extend”. Drawing out the implications of this proposal, I argue that, if enactivism allows living systems to extend, then it must also allow sense-making, and thus cognition as well as affectivity, to extend – in the specific sense of allowing the physical processes (vehicles) underpinning these phenomena to include, as constitutive parts, non-organic environmental processes. Finally I suggest that enactivism might also allow specific human affective states, such as moods, to extend.
This paper is a memorandum of working with Francisco Varela on our joint paper “Your inside is out and your outside is in.” It is intended to show how we worked together – something of the process and the mood. The paper that was the outcome may be found in the literature (Glanville and Varela 1981), but working notes and outlines, correspondence, and a condensation written some time after the paper are published here for the first time, together with a certain amount of commentary and context. In the quoted material, I have altered nothing save occasionally tuning the language (though I have retained Francisco’s American spellings): the point of this paper is not to correct, extend or otherwise modify the argument, which we developed between 1977 and 1981 (which I continue to believe has validity). This account is a tribute, an example, and a little piece of history.
Maturana H. R. (1991) Response to Jim Birch. Journal of Family Therapy 13(4): 375–393. https://cepa.info/617
I consider that none of the criticisms that Birch makes of my work applies. Moreover, I consider that Birch makes a confusion of conceptual domains. He, in a philosophical mood, wants to save the notion of objectivity as an ontological notion, and, as he does so, he unavoidably distorts, abandons or neglects experience. I, in a scientific mood, want to explain the observer and observing as biological phenomena, and as I do so I find that I have to leave out or abandon reality as an ontological notion, and replace it by reality as an explanatory proposition. After recognizing that there is this fundamental difference between Birch and myself, it is obvious that nothing of what I say will satisfy him, and nothing of what he says will satisfy me.
Montesano A., Feixas G. & Varlotta N. (2012) Análisis de contenido de constructos personales en la depresión [Content analysis of personal constructs in depression]. Salud Mental 32: 371–379. https://cepa.info/497
Kelly’s personal construct psychology proposes that attributing meaning to experience is the most fundamental process of human psychological functioning. He describes psychological activity as a continuous process of creating, testing and revising personal theories (usually implicit) that allow people to understand and anticipate events. Depressive mood is highly influenced by the subject’s view of him or herself and others, and by the organization of his or her constructs. The content of these personal constructs has received far less attention from researchers. The main goal of this article is to complement the PCP model of depression through the content analysis of personal constructs. The results indicate that content patterns of depressed people show various specific thematic emphases.
Neimeyer R. A. (2002) How firm a foundation? A constructivist response to Mahrer’s archeology of beliefs about psychotherapy. In: Raskin J. D. & Bridges S. K. (eds.) Studies in meaning: Exploring constructivist psychology. Pace University Press, New York: 247–264.
Develops a constructivist critique of A. R. Mahrer’s search for foundational beliefs in the field of psychotherapy, while affirming those features of this effort that seem viable. The author hopes to provoke continued dialogue about this fundamental question by 1st chipping away at the foundational quest that Mahrer proposes, and then responding more affirmatively to Mahrer’s invitational mood by attempting to analyze some foundational beliefs that the author has himself.
Oblak A. (2021) The Hell of Being Who One Ordinarily Is: Is it Possible to Construct Stable Phenomenological Traits of Mood Disorders? Constructivist Foundations 16(2): 227–229. https://cepa.info/6962
Open peer commentary on the article “Assessing Subjective Processes and Vulnerability in Mindfulness-based Interventions: A Mixed methods Exploratory Study” by Sebastián Medeiros, Carla Crempien, Alejandra Vásquez-Rosati, Javiera Duarte, Catherine Andreu, Álvaro I. Langer, Miguel Ibaceta, Jaime R. Silva & Diego Cosmelli Sánchez. Abstract: Assuming that the only epistemically relevant experiential report is the one made in the present moment, it may be unclear how individuals ground their responses to stable-trait assessments. Recently, novel approaches (such as the phenomenological control) suggest that it is possible to construct stable phenomenological traits. Questions are raised as to whether there are first-person reports suggesting the nature of stable phenomenological traits in the context of mood disorders.
Sterling P. (2014) Homeostasis vs allostasis: Implications for brain function and mental disorders. JAMA Psychiatry 71(10): 1192–1193. https://cepa.info/5329
Most drugs that alter mental function, whether for recreational purposes or to treat mental disorders, affect synaptic transmission. Some drugs reshape the action potential, altering release of neurotransmitter; others antagonize or enhance the effect of a neurotransmitter on its synaptic receptor protein. Still other drugs inhibit reuptake of the neurotransmitter from the extracellular space, thus prolonging its action at the synapse. This leads naturally to the idea that disorders of thought, attention, and mood are fundamentally disorders of the synapse. Moreover, it presents a rationale for treating mental disorders by pharmacotherapy of the synapse.
Varela F. J., Thompson E. & Rosch E. (2016) Evolutionary path making and natural drift. Chapter 9 in: The embodied mind: Cognitive science and human experience. Revised edition. MIT Press, Cambridge MA: 185–213.
Excerpt: This enactive program, which remains removed from the predominantly objectivist/subjectivist mood of most contemporary science, would have been mere heterodoxy only a few years ago. Today, however, the inner logic of research in cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, evolutionary theory, and immunology seems to incorporate more and more working elements of an enactive orientation. We have developed in some detail the situation in the field of robotics, not because we think such engineering products are the final result of this scientific orientation but rather to make it clear that in any concrete research program even the most pragmatic levels are touched. This is not the place to develop other areas that illustrate the same ideas at work. The debate is now heatedly on its way, and so researchers will no doubt subscribe to various intermediate positions and draw somewhat different epistemological conclusions. Nevertheless, these debates indicate that an enactive program is no longer the property of a few eccentric researchers but rather an alive and diverse research program that continues to grow.