Definition of Enaction

What is Enaction?

Way to understand a being's relation to their environment and how they co-create and co-enable each other. Developed from Cognitive Psychology.

Understands humans (or any other being) to be embodied, embedded, extended, enactive and affective.

Critical alternative to the classical view of human-world relation.

How Does Enaction Fit Into Creativity?

The active relation between our bodies + our actions + our environment creates our lived perspectival reality. We are en-acting what we experience, we are en-acting what is afforded us.

To talk of creativity, perspectivalism, and action is to ultimately talk about enaction. The prefix “en” signifies a “belonging to”  – thus, en-action is a belonging to, a being created by the activity. And we “belong” to it in the way it is co-creating us. 

Our bodies + action + environment are enactive – they are creatively coming from these things, and they are also creatively making them. The now classical example of this is from the poet Antonio Machado, who explains it as a “laying down a path in walking.” And what is being enacted is a landscape of affordances. The “path” of Machado’s poem is the landscape of affordances.

Thus, when we say “simply being alive is a profoundly creative act,” it is because “we” are enactively laying down a path in walking…

For more, navigate to our complete list of articles on embodied cognition for innovation.

on What Is Innovation, and How to Innovate

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