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Title: Radical sensorimotor enactivism
Author: Downey, Adrian
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 8013
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2017
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In this thesis I develop a novel approach to conscious perception, which I label “radical sensorimotor enactivism” (RSE). In chapter one, I explain how the development of RSE is guided by the tenets of activity and knowledge-how. In chapter two, I outline and explain RSE. Throughout the thesis, I will pit RSE against cognitivist accounts of conscious perception and argue that RSE is to be preferred. In chapters three and four, I highlight two problems facing cognitivist accounts of conscious perception which RSE avoids. I argue that cognitivist accounts of conscious perception face the ‘hard problem of perceptual consciousness', whilst RSE can provide a phenomenologically plausible deflation of this problem. I next explain why cognitivist accounts are incapable of providing a satisfactory explanation of split-brain syndrome. Then, I argue that RSE can provide a parsimonious explanation of this syndrome. Theories predicated on activity and knowledge-how are often rejected for being incapable of accounting for the brain's role in conscious perception. In chapter five, I argue that RSE can account for the brain's role by adopting a non-representational version of predictive processing (PP). Moreover, I argue that the resultant account improves upon cognitivist alternatives. Then, in chapter six, I argue that even representational explanations of PP can be subsumed within RSE by accepting fictionalism about their representational posits. Consequently, I conclude that RSE cannot be objected to for failing to account for the brain's role in conscious perception. Finally, in chapter seven, I discuss ‘non-veridical' experiences. Accounts like RSE are often rejected because it is thought they are incapable of explaining the existence of these phenomena. I explain how the existence of such phenomena is wholly compatible with the truth of RSE. Thus, I conclude that RSE should not be rejected solely on the basis that non-veridical experiences exist.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF0309 Consciousness. Cognition Including learning ; attention ; comprehension ; memory ; imagination ; genius ; intelligence ; thought and thinking ; psycholinguistics ; mental fatigue