Publication 2484

Dotov D. G. & Chemero A. (2014) Breaking the perception-action cycle: Experimental phenomenology of non-sense and its implications for theories of perception and movement science. In: Cappuccio M. & Froese T. (eds.) Enactive cognition at the edge of sense-making: Making sense of non-sense. Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills: 37–60.
Merleau-Ponty’s description of Cezanne’s working process reveals two things: first, cognition arises on the basis of perception and action, and, second, cognition arises out of frustration, when an agent confronts non-sense. We briefly present the history of the domain of philosophy and psychology that has claimed that perception-action comes before cognition, especially the work of Merleau-Ponty, Gibson, and Heidegger. We then present an experimental paradigm “front-loading” the Heideggerian phenomenology of encountering tools. The experiments consisted of a dynamical perception-action task and a cognitive task. The results reinforce the distinction between tools being experienced as ready-to-hand and turning into unreadyor present-at-hand when sense-ma kin g was thwarted. A more cognitive attitude towards the task emerged when participants experienced non-sense. We discuss implications of this for the movement sciences.
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