The Enactive Mind An Epistemological Framework for Radically Embodied Didactics

GIANLUCA BOCCHI, LUISA DAMIANO

Abstract


The main aim of this article is to promote, at an epistemological level, the development of radically embodied didactics, that is, didactics which conceives the agents involved in the learning process – scholars and students in primis – as radically interdependent brain-body-environment(s) units involved in a constructive and creative cognitive process. Th is article proposes the radically embodied view of the mind introduced by Evan Thompson and Francisco Varela to the theoretical debate in didactics. Through the reconstruction of the basic structure of this theory, and its contextualization within the radically constructivist epistemology, this article brings attention to some of the most specific and interesting aspects of this theory: (a) the overcoming of merely anatomical conceptions of embodiment, as well as merely spatial operations of cognitive extension; (b) the convergences with the insights produced by neurophysiological research on mirroring mechanisms; (c) the proposal of a “legitimate questions maieutic practice”, grounded in the radically constructivist thesis according to which cognition is a participative process of construction of a shared world.


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