Consciousness and Cognition 79 (March 2020) (2020)

Nick Brancazio
University of Wollongong
Miguel Segundo-Ortin
Utrecht University
Non-representational approaches to cognition have struggled to provide accounts of long-term planning that forgo the use of representations. An explanation comes easier for cognitivist accounts, which hold that we concoct and use contentful mental representations as guides to coordinate a series of actions towards an end state. One non-representational approach, ecological-enactivism, has recently seen several proposals that account for “high-level” or “representation-hungry” capacities, including long-term planning and action coordination. In this paper, we demonstrate the explanatory gap in these accounts that stems from avoiding the incorporation of long-term intentions, as they play an important role both in action coordination and perception on the ecological account. Using recent enactive accounts of language, we argue for a non-representational conception of intentions, their formation, and their role in coordinating pre-reflective action. We provide an account for the coordination of our present actions towards a distant goal, a skill we call distal engagement. Rather than positing intentions as an actual cognitive entity in need of explanation, we argue that we take them up in this way as a practice due to linguistically scaffolded attitudes towards language use.
Keywords enactivism  affordances  perception  intentions
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Meaningful Affordances.Roy Dings - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1855-1875.
Social Affordance.Eros Carvalho - 2020 - Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior.
Situated imagination.Ludger van Dijk & Erik Rietveld - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-23.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Animal Mental Action: Planning Among Chimpanzees.Angelica Kaufmann - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):745-760.
Conscious Intentions.Alfred Mele - 2010 - In J. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. Silverstein (eds.), Action, Ethics, and Responsibility. MIT Press.
Conscious Intending as Self-Programming.Marc Slors - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (1):94-113.
Intentions by Default.Alfred R. Mele - 1989 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 70 (2):155-166.
Intention and Motor Representation in Purposive Action.Stephen Andrew Butterfill & Corrado Sinigaglia - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):119-145.
How Can Intentions Make Actions Rational?Joe Mintoff - 2002 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):331 - 354.
Self–Other Contingencies: Enacting Social Perception.Marek McGann & Hanne De Jaegher - 2009 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):417-437.


Added to PP index

Total views
416 ( #23,584 of 2,507,062 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #23,454 of 2,507,062 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes