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Radicalizing EnactivismBasic Minds without Content$
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Daniel D. Hutto and Erik Myin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262018548

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262018548.001.0001

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The Hard Problem of Content

The Hard Problem of Content

(p.57) 4 The Hard Problem of Content
Radicalizing Enactivism

Daniel D. Hutto

Erik Myin

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the Hard Problem of Content faced by defenders of Content Involving Cognition (CIC): that positing informational content is incompatible with explanatory naturalism. The root trouble is that covariance does not constitute content. CIC proponents have three possible moves. First, they might try to demonstrate that covariance does constitute content, by showing that what they propose is already consistent with explanatory naturalism after all, or by finding another naturalistic candidate to explain informational content. Second, they can posit informational content but reject explanatory naturalism. Third, they can accept that covariance does not entail or constitute content—i.e. that it lacks inherent, truth-bearing properties. The best and most strategically secure move for CIC proponents is to cut their losses by surrendering the idea that content is needed in order to explain the kinds of engaged activity that have been the focus of attention up to this point.

Keywords:   Content Involving Cognition, engaged activity, covariance, information content, explanatory naturalism

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