Enactive mechanistic explanation of social cognition


In this paper we examine an enactive approach to social cognition, a species of radical embodied cognition typically proposed as an alternative to traditional cognitive science. According to enactivists, social cognition is best explained by reference to the social unit rather than the individuals that participate in it. We identify a methodological problem in this approach, namely a lack of clarity with respect to the model of explanation it adopts. We review two complaints about a mechanistic explanatory framework, popular in traditional cognitive science, that prevent enactivists from embracing it. We argue that these complaints are unfounded and propose a conceptual model of enactive mechanistic explanation of social cognition.

Proceedings of the 39th Annual Cognitive Science Meeting