Philosophy of mind’s new lease on life: autopoietic enactivism meets teleosemiotics

D. Hutto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This commentary will seek to clarify certain core features of Thompson’s proposal about the enactive nature of basic mentality, as best it can, and to bring his ideas into direct conversation with accounts of basic cognition of the sort favoured by analytical philosophers of mind and more traditional cognitive scientists – i.e. those who tend to be either suspicious or critical of enactive/embodied approaches (to the extent that they confess to understanding them at all). My proposed way of opening up this sort of dialogue is to concentrate on the close similarities between Thompson’s biologically-based proposal about non-representational forms of basic cognition and what I take to be a reasonable modification to the ambitions of teleosemantic theories of content. Insofar as today’s theories of mental representation are less concerned to understand content in properly semantic terms they are moving ever closer to the sorts of account proposed by enactivists of the Thompsonian stripe – close enough to have meaningful debates about the nature of basic mentality. It is against this backdrop that I put a spotlight on the true promise and value of enactivism, providing some compelling reasons for wanting to go Thompson’s way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-64
JournalJournal of Consciousness Studies
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Philosophy of mind’s new lease on life: autopoietic enactivism meets teleosemiotics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this