Macquarie University
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Never gap the mind: neurophenomenological and neuropragmatic intervention

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posted on 2022-11-23, 23:25 authored by Matthew McTeigue

The notions of enactivism, and neurophenomenology, as originally exposited by Francisco Varela and colleagues, were introduced into cognitive science as part of a broad philosophical framework encompassing science, European phenomenology, Buddhist philosophy and traces of pragmatism. A recent controversy has emerged about the paradigm’s ultimate capability to offer a convincing and tractable solution to Chalmers’ hard problem voiced by philosophers Daniel Hutto and Michael Kirchhoff. This thesis systematically responds to this challenge by developing a firmer metaphysical base for neurophenomenology and has three broad objectives. Firstly, follow the path of extended neutral monism recently espoused by Chemero and Silberstein but flesh out their idea of a neutral base with a stronger metaphysic. Secondly, continue in the broadly neutral monist vein and argue for a combination of the pragmatist notion of organism-world transaction and modern enactivist theory to refute Chalmers’ naturalistic dualism. Thirdly, and finally, to bring two controversies within enactivist thought about consciousness into a mutually informed resolution with the new theory of pragmatist-enactivism.

Conclusions and directions for further research conclude the thesis.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction and Literature Review -- Chapter 2: Life beyond the Gap: neurophenomenology and extended neutral monism -- Chapter 3: Towards an Enactivist Theory of Consciousness -- Conclusions and Future Directions -- References


A thesis submitted as fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Research

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis MRes, Macquarie University, Department of Philosophy, 2022

Department, Centre or School

Department of Philosophy

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Richard Menary


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:




88 pages

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