Talk | Daniel D. Hutto

19.05.2016 17:00 - 18:30

"Continuity Scepticism in Doubt: A Radically Enactive Take"

Daniel D. Hutto

Philosophy Department, University of Wollongong, Australia

"Continuity Scepticism in Doubt: A Radically Enactive Take"

About the talk

Radically Enactive Cognition, REC, holds that not all forms of cognition are content involving and, especially, not root forms. According to radical enactivists, only minds that have mastered special kinds of socio-cultural practice are capable of content involving forms of cognition. This paper addresses criticisms that have been leveled at REC’s vision of how content-involving cognition may have come on the scene. It responds, in the first section, to the charge that REC faces a fatal dilemma when it comes to accounting for the origins of content in naturalistic terms – a dilemma that arises from REC’s own acknowledgment of the existence of a Hard Problem of Content. In subsequent sections, the paper addresses the charge that REC entails continuity scepticism, reviewing this charge in its scientific and philosophical formulations. It is concluded that REC is not at odds with evolutionary continuity, when both REC and evolutionary continuity are properly understood. It is also concluded that although REC cannot completely close the imaginative gap that is required to answer the philosophical continuity sceptic it is, in this respect, in no worse a position than its representationalist rivals and their naturalistic proposals about the origins of content.

About the speaker

Daniel D. Hutto is Professor of Philosophical Psychology at the University of Wollongong and member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts. His most recent books, include: Wittgenstein and the End of Philosophy (Palgrave, 2006), Folk Psychological Narratives (MIT, 2008). He is co-author of the award-winning Radicalizing Enactivism (MIT, 2013) and editor of Narrative and Understanding Persons (CUP, 2007) and Narrative and Folk Psychology (Imprint Academic, 2009). A special yearbook, Radical Enactivism, focusing on his philosophy of intentionality, phenomenology and narrative, was published in 2006. He regularly speaks at conferences and expert meetings for anthropologists, clinical psychiatrists, educationalists, narratologists, neuroscientists and psychologists.


Lecture Hall G (Psychologicum)

Faculty of Psychology
University of Vienna
Liebiggasse 5, left wing, 2rd floor
A-1010 Wien