Enacting practical wisdom: Heideggerian connections between phronesis and enactive cognition
Dr Marilyn Stendera (University of Melbourne)

May 10, 2016, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
European Philosophy and the History of Ideas Research Group (EPHI), Deakin University

221 Burwood Hwy
Burwood 3125


Deakin University


The Aristotelian conception of phronesis has long been of interest to those philosophies of cognition that explain cognisers’ responsiveness to salience in terms of an always-already situated purposiveness, and features especially in accounts which are influenced by the phenomenological tradition. This paper will focus on the manner in which one such discourse, enactivism, brings together phronesis and phenomenology in modelling pragmatic context-sensitivity; the paper’s goal is to suggest that these connections run even deeper than is often appreciated in the literature. The motivation for that claim lies in the existing intersections between enactivism, the conceptualisation of phronesis and Heideggerian thought, particularly Heideggerian analyses of temporality. Heidegger’s interpretation of phronesis has contributed significantly to the ways in which Aristotle’s concept has been taken up in phenomenology-influenced discussions of cognition and mind. Temporality plays an important role in Heidegger’s reading, although the relation of the temporal concepts posited therein to those set out in Sein und Zeit is highly contested. This paper will outline a perspective from which the temporalities that Heidegger ascribes to phronesis and Being-in-the-world can be integrated, and will propose that the resulting framework can illuminate the relationship between the temporal structures of phronesis and enactive cognition.

Dr Marilyn Stendera’s research focuses mainly on the phenomenological tradition, with a particular interest in the latter’s conceptions of temporality and intersections with the philosophy of cognition. She recently received her PhD in Philosophy from The University of Melbourne; her thesis, Dasein's Temporal Enaction, argues that Heidegger's model of temporality ought to play a significant role in contemporary dialogues between phenomenology and cognitive science. Marilyn is currently a tutor in Philosophy at The University of Melbourne and a Teaching Associate at Monash University.

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