Humanistic Cognitive Science

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Abstract

This article ventures to explore the conceptual space where humanistic psychology and enactive cognitive science meet so as to lay out the practical and philosophical foundations for a “humanistic cognitive science”—an emerging interdisciplinary program that augments the insights of enactivism with those of humanistic psychology in order to further ground and enrich the latter’s overall explanatory potential. The structure of this article is organized into 4 sections. In the first section, I explicate the utility of and need for a humanistic cognitive science by proposing 5 arguments. In the second section, I provide a historical–philosophical overview of the emerging confluence of humanism and cognitive science and trace it to the rise of the enactive approach within embodied cognitive science. In the third section, I review the centrality of the problem of normativity to psychological science and identify it as an adequate point of entry for humanistic cognitive science; for circumventing this problem requires direct theoretical contact with the current enactive literature on the very notion of normativity. In the fourth section, I synthesize such a criterion and argue that it meets the minimal requirements for a naturalistic theory of normativity in psychology. Before concluding, I highlight some of the key implications of this article for humanistic psychology and psychopathology.

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