Publication 4204

Degenaar J. & Kevin O’Regan J. (2016) Sensorimotor theory and enactivism. Topoi First Online: 1–15. Fulltext at
The sensorimotor theory of perceptual consciousness offers a form of enactivism in that it stresses patterns of interaction instead of any alleged internal rep-resentations of the environment. But how does it relate to forms of enactivism stressing the continuity between life and mind (and more particularly autopoiesis, autonomy, and valence)? We shall distinguish sensorimotor enactivism, which stresses perceptual capacities themselves, from autopoietic enactivism, which claims an essential connection between experience and autopoietic processes or associated background capacities. We show how autopoiesis, autonomous agency, and affective dimensions of experience may fit into sensorimotor enactivism, and we identify differences between this interpretation and autopoietic enactivism. By taking artificial consciousness as a case in point, we further sharpen the distinction between sensorimotor enactivism and autopoietic enactivism. We argue that sensorimotor enactivism forms a strong default position for an enactive account of perceptual consciousness.


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