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The Embodied MindCognitive Science and Human Experience$
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Francisco J. Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262529365

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262529365.001.0001

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Enaction: Embodied Cognition

Enaction: Embodied Cognition

Chapter:
(p.147) 8 Enaction: Embodied Cognition
Source:
The Embodied Mind
Author(s):

Francisco J. Varela

Evan Thompson

Eleanor Rosch

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262529365.003.0008

This chapter explains embodied action. The term embodied highlights two points: first, that cognition depends upon the kinds of experience that come from having a body with various sensorimotor capacities, and second, that these individual sensorimotor capacities are themselves embedded in a more encompassing biological, psychological, and cultural context. The term action emphasizes that sensory and motor processes, perception and action, are fundamentally inseparable in lived cognition. Indeed, the two are not merely contingently linked in individuals; they have also evolved together. The chapter then discusses enaction. In a nutshell, the enactive approach consists of two points: (1) perception consists in perceptually guided action and (2) cognitive structures emerge from the recurrent sensorimotor patterns that enable action to be perceptually guided.

Keywords:   embodied action, embodied cognition, enaction, perception, guided action, cognitive structure, lived cognition

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