RECkoning with the stakes in overcoming representation-hungry problem domains

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The paper reviews the current state of play around anti-representationalist attempts at countering Clark and Toribio’s (Synthese, 101, 401–431, 1994) representation-hunger thesis. It introduces a distinction between different approaches to Chemero’s (2009) Radical embodied cognition thesis (REC) in the form of, on the one hand, those pushing a hard line and, on the other, those who are more relaxed about their anti-representationalist commitments. In terms of overcoming Clark and Toribio’s thesis, hardliners seek to avoid any mentioning of mental content in the activity they purport to explain. Yet, the paper argues, adopting a hard line complicates this endeavor considerably and unnecessarily. Those promoting a relaxed REC, however, are better off in that they have no problem in recognizing that some types of cognition are hybrid. By turning to Hutto and Myin’s Radical Enactivism as a prime example of a relaxed approach to the REC thesis, the paper points towards the lack of continuity between covariant information and informational content as the gap that would necessarily have to be closed in order for RECers to, once and for all, be able to dismiss Clark and Toribio’s hypothesis that certain kinds of cognition are per definition off-limits to anti-representationalism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Analytica
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)517–532
Publication statusPublished - 23. Apr 2021


  • Enactivism
  • Episodic memory imagining
  • Explanatory naturalism
  • Radically embodied cognition
  • Representation-hunger


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