Dewey, Enactivism, and the Qualitative Dimension

  • Matthew MacKenzie Colorado State University, Colorado, USA
Keywords: pragmatism, John Dewey, qualitative states


This paper takes up the problem of the qualitative dimension from the perspectives of enactivism and John Dewey’s pragmatic naturalism. I suggest that the pragmatic naturalism of Dewey, combined with recent work on enactivism, points the way to a new account of the qualitative dimension, beyond the bifurcation of nature into the subjective and objective, or the qualitative and quantitative. The pragmatist-enactivist view I sketch here has both methodological-explanatory and ontological dimensions.  Following the work of Francisco Varela and Evan Thompson, I suggest that the qualitative dimension should be explained in experientialist and ecological terms. Following Dewey, I suggest that the ontology of the qualitative dimension should be understood in dynamic, relational, and ‘transactional’ terms.

How to Cite
MacKenzie, M. (2016). Dewey, Enactivism, and the Qualitative Dimension. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 9(31), 21-36. Retrieved from