Volume 18 · Number 3 · Pages 365–367
Cognition Is Both Relational and Centered in Individuals

Tim Elmo Feiten

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Open peer commentary on the article “Beyond Individual-Centred 4E Cognition: Systems Biology and Sympoiesis” by Mads Julian Dengsø & Michael David Kirchhoff. Abstract: Dengsø and Kirchhoff’s inspiring proposal to drop the individual-centeredness of autopoiesis in favor of a view based on sympoiesis and developmental systems theory (DST) has two problems: (a) It is not clear that the points they raise as arguments against individual-centered 4E cognition are incompatible with those views and many of them are already included in Ezequiel Di Paolo’s account of enaction. (b) They give no clear account of how 4E cognition will account for agency as purposive behavior once it discards its current, individual-centered, accounts of it.


Feiten T. E. (2023) Cognition is both relational and centered in individuals. Constructivist Foundations 18(3): 365–367. https://constructivist.info/18/3/365

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Dennett D. (2011) Shall we tango? No, but thanks for asking. Journal of Consciousness Studies 18(5–6): 23–34. https://cepa.info/8629
Di Paolo E. (2018) The enactive conception of life. In: Newen A., de Bruin L. & Gallagher S. (eds.) The Oxford handbook of 4E cognition: Embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended. Oxford University Press, Oxford UK: 71–94. https://cepa.info/5608
Feiten T. E. (2020) Mind after Uexküll: A foray into the worlds of ecological psychologists and enactivists. Frontiers in Psychology 11: 480. https://cepa.info/6628
Feiten T. E., Holland K. & Chemero A. (2020) Worlds apart? Reassessing von Uexküll’s umwelt in embodied cognition with Canguilhem, Merleau-Ponty, and Deleuze. Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 28(1): 1–26. https://cepa.info/7799
Jonas H. (1966) The Phenomenon of Life. Harper & Row, New York. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
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