Volume 17 · Number 1 · Pages 056–058
Autism as Disordered Sense-Making

Michelle Maiese

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Open peer commentary on the article “The Construction of Autism: Between Reflective and Background Knowledge” by Maciej Wodziński & Paulina Gołaska-Ciesielska. Abstract: While enactivism resonates with the key themes of constructivism, it is not committed to Wodziński and Gołaska-Ciesielska’s claim that conditions such as autism are social constructs. Instead, it paves the way for a non-reductive, naturalist account that posits autism as a mental disorder and yet acknowledges the important role of social relations. On this view, autism involves disordered patterns of sense-making that are maladaptive. Acknowledging these disruptions puts us in a better position to uncover how they might be overcome via environmental scaffolding.


Maiese M. (2021) Autism as disordered sense-making. Constructivist Foundations 17(1): 056–058. https://constructivist.info/17/1/056

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Michelle Maiese received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2005 and is now Professor of Philosophy at Emmanuel College in Boston, MA. Her research addresses issues in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychiatry, and emotion theory. She has authored or co-authored four books: Embodied Minds in Action (co-authored with Robert Hanna, 2009), Embodied, Emotion, and Cognition (2011), Embodied Selves and Divided Minds (2015), and The Mind–Body Politic (co-authored with Robert Hanna, 2019). ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
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