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The aim of this article is to delineate as clearly as possible the upshot of the ontological quarrel between enactivism and internalism, on the basis of two types of questioning, the one metaphysical and the other clinical. The metaphysical side envisages to understand the range of the conceptual distinctions on the basis of the fundamental ontological positions at stake. Two positions are being distinguished: on the one hand ontology is seen to be “decidable” on the basis of the conceptual schema alone, on the other hand it is seen to require a clarification and an explicitation of the nature and the meaning of “what there is” starting from the conditions of possibility (e.g. processes of differentiation, of constitution) considered as relevant. Enactivism is situated closer to the latter point of view, closer also to the constitutional concerns characteristic of critical philosophy. The clinical side proposes to analyse in a more practical way what can be the meaning of constitution in relation to perception on the basis of three clinical cases. The first case illustrates a surprising resonance between the systematicity of the behavior of the patient and the experimental design discussed by Lenay — in particular in relation to what is called by the author “balayage”. The second case offers a solution with regard to the critique Jacob addresses to enactivism: whereas his criticism denounces the incompatibility between the enactivist model and the structural attenuation of the sensorial return, the case study illustrates how that attenuation could, on the contrary, be essential to the normal constitution of perception. A third clinical case allows grasping the constitutive role of those two dynamics of constitution, e.g. the “balayage” and the attenuation, at the level of the perception of language.
Pour citer cet article :Van de Vijver Gertrudis, Bazan Ariane, Rottiers Franc, Gilbert John (2006/1). Enactivism and Internalism : from Ontology to Clinics. In Brassac Christian (Eds), Internalism / Externalism, Intellectica, 43, (pp.93-104), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2006.1334.