Embodied, embedded, enactive (3E) cognition offers a radically different framework for understanding the mind. It has emerged over the last 30 years as a result of insights from an eclectic mix of disciplines including ecological psychology, robotics, dynamical systems theory and philosophy. Central to 3E cognition is its rejection of classical computationalism associated with the standard cognitive sciences which views the mind or cognitive processes as analogous to that of a digital computer, solving problems by implementing often complex algorithms through the amodal manipulation of symbols, largely uninfluenced by its physical body or the external environment.
3E cognition instead emphasises that cognition emerges from the role of the brain in a body, embedded in an environment that is actively explored and interacted with and is best described from a dynamical systems perspective.
Given the explicit and implicit influence standard cognitive science has had on psychiatry, its conceptualisation of the mind and mental illness and its subsequent treatment, it is worth considering what the implications of 3E cognition might for our understanding of psychopathology.
Presented by Dr Chris Meechan (@chrismeechan2) for the West of Scotland Speculative Psychiatry Group on 15/10/20