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  • Princeton, NJ, 08540
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Speaker: Hayden Kee

Abstract: To what extent do we require a phenomenological level of description to adequately grasp the behavior of non-human organisms? At one extreme, some versions of autopoietic enactivism endorse a strong phenomenological life-mind continuity thesis, maintaining that wherever we find life, we find also a mind exhibiting the same basic phenomenal interiority as human experience. In this talk, I will argue that this broad application of phenomenological concepts to all living beings, including ones believed to lack sentience, introduces a fateful equivocation into the phenomenological idiom, which is designed to describe sentient experience. But this terminological clarification serves to bring into focus an underlying ontological and methodological issue: autopoietic enactivism (along with other approaches to naturalized phenomenology) is radically incomplete in the absence of a foundational (meta)physics of consciousness.