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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 19, Issue 1, 2019

Political Philosophy

Pierre Steiner
Pages 153-174

Content, Mental Representation and Intentionality
Challenging the Revolutionary Character of Radical Enactivism

Criticisms and rejections of representationalism are increasingly popular in 4E cognitive science, and especially in radical enactivism. But by overfocusing our attention on the debate between radical enactivism and classical representationalism, we might miss the woods for the trees, in at least two respects: first, by neglecting the relevance of other theoretical alternatives about representationalism in cognitive science; and second by not seeing how much REC and classical representationalism are in agreement concerning basic and problematic issues dealing with mental content and intentionality. In order to expand and exemplify these ideas, this paper presents two heterodox positions on intentionality and on the relations between content and representation. Special attention is paid to the way REC is rejecting these positions: I argue that this rejection reveals common assumptions with classical representationalism, but also undermines the coherence of REC’s conception of intentionality.

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