Beyond Content: Explications, Motivations and Implications
Dan D. Hutto
University of Wollongong
April 4, 2018, 11 p.m. UTC // April 4, 2018, 4 p.m. in America/Los_Angeles
Radically Enactive Cognition, or REC, proposes that cognition is best modelled on the activities of living systems. It construes cognition as fundamentally interactive, dynamic and relational. Controversially, REC also holds that in its most basic form cognition is not content-involving: it is neither representational at root, nor does it involve picking up and processing informational contents that are used, stored and reused to get cognitive work done. This presentation situates our evolving account of REC within the wider theoretical landscape. It will: (1) clarify how REC understands the thesis that basic cognition lacks content; (2) review reasons that motivate adopting that thesis, so construed; and (3) outline the theoretical consequences of such adoption, including some of the questions and new lines of research it inspires.