Open peer commentary on the article “Coordination Produces Cognitive Niches, not just Experiences: A Semi-Formal Constructivist Ontology Based on von Foerster” by Konrad Werner. Upshot: Since I am in general agreement with Werner’s proposal, my commentary focuses on two aspects that might expand and refine it further. The first is historical: by providing a brief account of some of the central notions from the works of Uexküll and Plessner, I indicate why a more encompassing historical and philosophical study of certain trends in (particularly German) philosophy of biology from the first part of the 20th century might be relevant to the topic in question. The second aspect is phenomenological: I problematize Werner’s sparse and simplistic treatment of “experience,” arguing that a closer engagement with phenomenological tradition (especially the work of Merleau-Ponty) may yield results that are much more congruent with his overall line of thought.
Vörös S. (2017) From umwelten to lebenswelten: A casual stroll with uexküll, plessner, and merleau-ponty. Constructivist Foundations 12(3): 299–301. http://constructivist.info/12/3/299
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