University of Sussex
Downey, Adrian.pdf (2.3 MB)

Radical sensorimotor enactivism

Download (2.3 MB)
posted on 2023-06-09, 05:29 authored by Adrian Downey
In this thesis I develop a novel approach to conscious perception, which I label “radical sensorimotor enactivism” (RSE). In chapter one, I explain how the development of RSE is guided by the tenets of activity and knowledge-how. In chapter two, I outline and explain RSE. Throughout the thesis, I will pit RSE against cognitivist accounts of conscious perception and argue that RSE is to be preferred. In chapters three and four, I highlight two problems facing cognitivist accounts of conscious perception which RSE avoids. I argue that cognitivist accounts of conscious perception face the ‘hard problem of perceptual consciousness’, whilst RSE can provide a phenomenologically plausible deflation of this problem. I next explain why cognitivist accounts are incapable of providing a satisfactory explanation of split-brain syndrome. Then, I argue that RSE can provide a parsimonious explanation of this syndrome. Theories predicated on activity and knowledge-how are often rejected for being incapable of accounting for the brain’s role in conscious perception. In chapter five, I argue that RSE can account for the brain’s role by adopting a non-representational version of predictive processing (PP). Moreover, I argue that the resultant account improves upon cognitivist alternatives. Then, in chapter six, I argue that even representational explanations of PP can be subsumed within RSE by accepting fictionalism about their representational posits. Consequently, I conclude that RSE cannot be objected to for failing to account for the brain’s role in conscious perception. Finally, in chapter seven, I discuss ‘non-veridical’ experiences. Accounts like RSE are often rejected because it is thought they are incapable of explaining the existence of these phenomena. I explain how the existence of such phenomena is wholly compatible with the truth of RSE. Thus, I conclude that RSE should not be rejected solely on the basis that non-veridical experiences exist.


File Version

  • Published version



Department affiliated with

  • Philosophy Theses

Qualification level

  • doctoral

Qualification name

  • phd


  • eng


University of Sussex

Full text available

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Theses)


    No categories selected