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Ars mentis: between enactivism and plessner's philosophical anthropology

Primož Vidovič (2021) Ars mentis: between enactivism and plessner's philosophical anthropology. MSc thesis.

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    In this thesis, I present and compare the autopoietic enactivist framework, as expounded in the works of Francisco J. Varela and Humberto R. Maturana, and Helmuth Plessner’s philosophical anthropology and philosophy of nature. My chief goal is to determine whether these theories are compatible, given their surface similarities, and see how they can mutually benefit in advancing a more complete, holist picture of human cognition than the view offered by traditional approaches in cognitive science. Following a historical and methodological overview, in which I chart the main trends they were interacting with and responding to, as well as their methods of wrestling with the challenges of the Cartesian dichotomy, I present their similar, though not identical approach to the definition of living beings as autopoietic unities or boundary-realizing bodies with a divergent inner-outer dual aspectivity. I proceed by exploring a variety of properties of life, as seen in the lens and crossroads of the respective theories, from fundamental vital phenomena such as their systemic nature and evolution, to more complex forms of organisation, as with multicellular orgasnisms such as plants and animals, culminating in the enactive conception of cognition as embodied enaction. In the final part of the thesis, I elaborate on further differentiations of life such as society, language and consciousness, exploring the relationship of the latter two, which is treated in reverse order by the respective theories. Drawing on the comparison of their treatment of cultural phenomena, I conclude by synthesising these theories and putting forward a view of cognition that I call artificial enaction, or artefaction, as an essential level of analysis, while pointing out the pitfalls of such synthetic and comparative projects.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: cognitive science, philosophy, anthropology, biology, enactivism, cognition, culture
    Number of Pages: 81
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    prof. dr. Borut OšlajMentor
    doc. dr. Sebastjan VörösComentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/76552707
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 6907
    Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2021 07:27
    Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 07:27
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/6907

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