Conferenza / Incontro

4E Cognition. A philosophical paradigm

31 maggio 2024
Orario di inizio 
Palazzo Fedrigotti - Corso Bettini 31, Rovereto
Sala Convegni
Comunità universitaria
Ingresso libero


Francesco Consiglio, Departamento de Filosofía, University of Granada (Spain)

Scientific Coordinator: Sara Dellantonio


The 4E Cognition paradigm gathers under the same label a slightly heterogeneous body of research in a growing theoretical field in philosophy of mind. 4E Cognition refers to the embedded, the embodied, the enactive, and the extended conception of mind (Newen et al., 2018). Broadly speaking, researchers sympathetic with this paradigm defend that cognition transcends the boundaries of the brain. Specifically, embodied mind theories defend that mind and cognition involve bodily elements, either as constituents of the cognitive process or as its causal determinants (Chemero, 2009; Shapiro, 2019). Enactive mind theories defend that cognition is a dynamical process that exists in the dynamic, fluid, and continuous relation between a subject and its environment (Harvey et al., 2016; Heras-Escribano, 2019; Hutto & Myin, 2017).

Embedded mind theories defend that the cognitive process is dependent on environmental resources, such as artefacts, tools, and other cultural elements that work as cognitive scaffolds for the subject (Hutchins, 1995). Extended mind theories defend that mental states and cognitive processes extend beyond the limits of brains and bodies, so that external resources constitute (Clark, 2010a, 2010b; Clark & Chalmers, 1998), complement (Heersmink & Sutton, 2020; Sutton, 2006, 2010), or integrate human minds (Menary, 2007, 2010a, 2010b, 2013).

Though this paradigm includes these four lines of research on cognition, in this talk I will mainly focus on embedded, extended, and enactive cognition. Specifically, I will focus on the concepts of ‘cognitive ecology’ (Hutchins, 2010) and ‘cognitive ecosystem’ (Hutchins, 2014), on the concept of ‘cognitive integration’ (Menary, 2007), on the concept of ‘scaffolded mind’ (Sterelny, 2010), and on the Material Engagement Theory (Ihde & Malafouris, 2019; Malafouris, 2013, 2019, 2020, 2021).
I will conclude the talk with a brief focus on the use of public images as cognitive scaffolds and, in particular, on the normative mechanisms that may allow to public images to shape individual imagery (Consiglio, 2021).