Volume 11 · Number 2 · Pages 251–254
The Role of Allostasis in Sense-Making: A Better Fit for Interactivity than Cybernetic-Enactivism?

Robert Lowe

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Open peer commentary on the article “Interactivity and Enaction in Human Cognition” by Matthew Isaac Harvey, Rasmus Gahrn-Andersen & Sune Vork Steffensen. Upshot: In contrasting an interactivity account alternative to variants on the enactive approach, the authors discuss the role of sense-making. They claim that their interactivity perspective, unlike enactive approaches, accounts for a dependency on “non-local” resources characteristic of many organisms. I draw attention to the cybernetic-enactivist perspective on homeostatic sense-making, which may fundamentally fail to explain the operationally open nature of organismic regulatory processes better captured by Sterling’s notion of “allostasis.” This sense-making model appears to be more in line with Harvey et al.’s interactivity framework, focusing as it does on the regulatory effect of extrinsic “norms” rather than the cybernetic-enactivist focus on intrinsic “norms.”


Lowe R. (2016) The role of allostasis in sense-making: A better fit for interactivity than cybernetic-enactivism? Constructivist Foundations 11(2): 251–254. http://constructivist.info/11/2/251

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