The oscillating body: an enactive approach to the embodiment of emotions


  • Carlos Vara Sánchez Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage, Ca' Foscari University of Venice. Italia Phd in Humanities Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona (Spain)



Enactivism, Embodiment, Emotions, Oscillatory activity, Dewey.


The aim of this paper is to advance, within the framework of enactivism, towards a more radically embodied and situated theory of emotions and, in general, of affectivity. Its starting point is that of discussing the well-established notion of bodily resonance (Fuchs 2013, Fuchs & Koch 2014, Fuchs 2018) and the primordial affectivity approach (Colombetti 2014). I will incorporate John Dewey’s theory of emotions, and recent models and empirical finding from cognitive science on the relation between perception and bodily activity (Azzalini, Rebollo & Tallon-Baudry 2019; Allen et al. 2019). The novel element proposed in this paper is taking into consideration the role of bodily oscillatory activity in the perceptual side of cognition through phenomena of relative coordination. This concept from dynamical systems theory allows for an enactivist view of emotions as temporal episodes triggered by a tension that affects the rhythmic interaction between brain, body, and environment. By defending the importance of this enacted rhythm, the body emerges as a truly active agent, gating and modulating affectivity during all the stages of the sensorimotor circuit from perception to action.


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Como Citar

Vara Sánchez, C. (2019). The oscillating body: an enactive approach to the embodiment of emotions. Revista De Filosofia Aurora, 31(54).