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Discussion: Experience, embodiment, intersubjectivity

September 7th, 2011 by Thomas Buehrmann

Reply here to provide your challenge to the speakers of the third day’s general discussion. This should take the form of: i) a tweet-like question (maximum of 144 characters) and ii) a follow up explanation, abstract or set of bullet points with a minimum of 150 words and maximum of 300, in the following format:

Group Name
Short description of challenge in bold
Content of the summary or abstract or bullet points

 

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7 Responses to “Discussion: Experience, embodiment, intersubjectivity”

  1. Marek McGann Marek McGann says:

    Group 1

    Challenge:
    Is there a tension between the fact that intentionality always exists within a social context and the fact that experience is always (so far as we know) experienced by an individual agent?

    Abstract:
    Though it is certain that the body plays a significant role in the perspective of the individual, the precise notion of body in question is not clear, and therefore the structure, form or mechanisms of individual and shared intentionality are obscure. This makes it very difficult to appreciate the relationship between the individual and the social in the ideas of both speakers.

  2. Alexander Maye Alexander Maye says:

    Group 2

    Challenges:

    - Which is the role of SMCs to generate intentional behavior?
    - Which are the minimal requirements to describe intentionality?
    - Is there the possibility of an artificial or biological agent surviving in this world without intentionality?
    - Could intentionality be pathological?
    - If people can be disembodied, can we “embody” robots? I.e. is embodiment the result of a definable process that can be, as in the case of schizophrenia, dysfunctional? If this is so, then this process could in principal be added to a robotic implementation. Could a way to achieve that be to provide them with SMCs?

  3. David Silverman David Silverman says:

    Group 5

    Three long-winded challenges:

    1:
    Schizophrenia demonstrates that it is possible to have a disembodied mode of being as well as an embodied one. A cognitivist could say that this shows that their approach is correct, by demonstrating that disembodied cognition is primary, while embodiment is a “positive illusion” which schizophrenic patients lack.

    What further work can be done to demonstrate, via cases of mental disorder, that embodied cognition is the right approach?

    2:
    Do we need a proper explanation of the underlying mechanisms of the direct perception of intentionality and if so what would it be? Should we not have a sort of sensorimotor contingencies account for the interaction with the social objects or specify what makes the affordance social? How is it possible that we attribute intentionality to certain sorts of bodily movements but not the others?

    3:
    Both Gallagher and Fuchs base their accounts on the pre-reflective awareness. In Gallagher’s talk the direct perception of intentions is based on a pre-reflectivity of intentions which enable an agent to act in coherence with the observed intentions of another agent. Fuchs stresses the fact that it is especially the disembodied pre-reflective self which impacts the onset of schizophrenia. But what is the connection between the pre-reflective and the reflective self? Referring to Fuch’ talk could the reflective aspect of self be the part responsible for the awareness of one’s own strangeness? Could the disorder not stem from the failure of the interaction between the two aspects of selves?

  4. David Suarez David Suarez says:

    Group 4

    What are the implication of the (essential or constitutive) intersubjectivity of mind for other concepts in the enactivist and embodied mind literature (e.g., participatory sense-making and autonomy?)

    Abstract

    Both speakers are committed to the idea that minds are (essentially or perhaps constitutively) intersubjective. Are there differences in the difficulties in participatory sense-making across different psychiatric conditions? For example, Thomas Fuchs has discussed the case of schizophrenia, but how might this sort of analysis apply to autism? Does the notion of inter-enacting a shared world involve the progressive surrender of autonomy? Is autonomy intersubjective from the very beginning?

  5. Athena Demertzi says:

    Group 6
    Challenge: Provide operationalizations of enactive intentionality /intercorporality:

    • In cases where the other has no ability to express accurately their experiences, e.g. babies, non-responsive patients, locked-in patients? How can the enactive approach account for what is “really” happening in the other?
    • In what way could the enactive approach influence the existing medical model in general and psychological testing more precisely (individualistic, normative, cognitive oriented)?
    • Is “social affordance” a special type of affordance? Is it more basic and should it inform doctor/subject/ experimenter?
    • What kind of experimental design would you come up with in order to study neurotransmitters in the intercorporeal (sense-making) process rather than in brain processes?

    • Dave Ward Dave Ward says:

      Group 3:

      What are the consequences of the occurrence of mental illnesses for enactivism?

      If to have a life is tantamount to having a mind, and if being minded is a precondition for having a mental illness, how could we demarcate which organisms are potential sufferers of mental illnesses? What does the answer to the above imply about our motor intentionality and intersubjectivity, that they can be disturbed in the sense of mental illness?

  6. Challenge summary:

    Group 1
    Is there a tension between the fact that intentionality always exists within a social context and the fact that experience is always (so far as we know) experienced by an individual agent?

    Group 2
    Which are the minimal requirements to describe intentionality?

    Group 3:
    What are the consequences of the occurrence of mental illnesses for enactivism?

    Group 4
    What are the implication of the (essential or constitutive) intersubjectivity of mind for other concepts in the enactivist and embodied mind literature (e.g., participatory sense-making and autonomy?)

    Group 5
    Schizophrenia demonstrates that it is possible to have a disembodied mode of being as well as an embodied one. A cognitivist could say that this shows that their approach is correct, by demonstrating that disembodied cognition is primary, while embodiment is a “positive illusion” which schizophrenic patients lack.

    Group 6
    In cases where the other has no ability to express accurately their experiences, e.g. babies, non-responsive patients, locked-in patients? How can the enactive approach account for what is “really” happening in the other?

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