Loving Through and Beyond Cognition
We will present – with a prospective tonality – a recently initiated research project that was first aiming toward a fruitful crossed contribution between the phenomenology of the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, on the one hand, and the enactive approach of cognition and its inspiration from the autopoïetic theory, on the other hand. First, following Levinas, it appears that not only love and ethics are meaningful dimensions of human existence, but taking into account the specificity of these experiences – a contact with the other as other – should lead us to a new understanding of subjectivity. Indeed, Levinas’s description of subjectivity as responsibility articulates the emergence of an autonomous self with the primordial inescapability of a call coming from the other, revealed in ethics and desire.
It appears that the enactive approach, focused on agency and autonomy, seems so far to not have taken significantly into account this dimension of radical otherness in its approach to cognition. Also, we think, on the one hand, that by engaging in a dialog with Levinas’s philosophy, the enactive approach will have to initiate a radical revision of its view of subjectivity and experience in order to reach a deeper understanding of questions involving the relationship with the other: ethics, desire, gift, value, etc. This profound reform could lead the enactive approach to rethink its relationship with one of its main source of inspiration – the autopoïetic theory – as it is worth mentioning that this latter has been especially concerned with questions of love and ethics in its more recent developments.
On the other hand, we think that confronting Levinas’s phenomenology with the enactive theory, and more precisely in taking into consideration the articulation between the structure of the living organism and its interactional domain could provide a decisive help in the analysis of how much of Levinas’s description of the ethical experience rely on the functional specificities of the human body, and thereby how much love and ethics
Sobre el Expositor:
Christopher Timmermann es psicólogo de la Universidad Católica de Chile, magíster en Neurociencias y Rehabilitación Neuropsicológica de la Universidad de Bologna, y doctorando en Neuropsicofarmacología y Neurociencias del Imperial College London desde el 2015, donde realiza su proyecto de investigación centrado en los efectos del DMT en el cerebro y en la experiencia humana.