Perceiving like a girl? A predictive version of Sensorimotor Enactivism in the face of situated embodiment
University of Tartu
Sept. 3, 2020, 10 a.m. UTC // Sept. 3, 2020, 10 a.m. in UTC
In what sense is perceptual experience situated? According to some phenomenological analyses, experience is situated in that it is shaped by a body that is the concrete locus of our social, historical, economic and cultural situation. In this talk, I focus on a predictive version of sensorimotor enactivism (SMEn) and I aim to show that this view can make plausible the idea that perceptual experience is situated, doing justice to the phenomenological analysis.
I begin by articulating the lack of neutrality of the body by drawing on Iris Marion Young’s view of the gendered situated body (Young 1980). She claims that our social, cultural, economic, and political situation is embodied in that it is manifested in the way we relate to and inhabit our space, i.e. in our movements and comportment. I, then, move on to Anne Jaap Jacobson’s (2012) articulation of the question about the influence of society on perception. She argues that perceptual experience is social only in virtue of the interactions between perception and higher-order cognitive processes. In the third part of the talk, I introduce a couple of examples that show that Jacobson’s account does not cover all the interesting ways in which perception is social. In the final section, I introduce the predictive approach to sensorimotor enactivism. And explain how we can do justice to the situated character of perceptual experience. My goal is to show that if perception is “something we do” (O’Regan and Noë 2001, p. 970), as the motto of SMEn goes, it is something we do as situated agents.