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The old philosophical controversy between empiricism and intellectualism appears to be still alive in contemporary cognitive science. It is clearly perceptible in the opposition between externalist and internalist epistemologies, and has been recently exacerbated by the development of enactive theories more or less loosely inspired by the work of Francisco Varela. Our commentary bears mainly on certain versions of enactivist and externalist theories (Lenay, Noë). While we sympathize with their anti-intellectualist and (partly) non-representationist stance, we criticize their core concept of sensorimotor contingencies which reinstates a fairly straightforward empiricism, and fails to acknowledge the crucial status of meaning and form in perception and action. The discussion hinges around the following issues: the constitution of lived body, status of form and field, of organization and emergence, of microgenesis and phases of action, and, finally, of anticipation and skill. We emphasize the indispensable status of meaning, in both its semiotic and social aspects, and contend that meaning determines any possibility of discriminating between interior and exterior.
Pour citer cet article :Visetti Yves-Marie, Rosenthal Victor (2006/1). On Sensorimotor Contingencies of Enaction. In Brassac Christian (Eds), Internalism / Externalism, Intellectica, 43, (pp.105-116), DOI: n/a.