Dewey, Enactivism, and the Qualitative Dimension
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.
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