Continuity, not Conservatism: Why We Can Be Existential and Enactive

Sanneke De Haan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


García's and Oblak's reviews of my book Enactive Psychiatry open up some fundamental debates with regard to my use of the term "enactive" for the kind of approach that I develop. Is my account still properly "enactive" (García) and how does my approach compare to the extended mind theory on the one hand and to constructivism on the other hand (Oblak)? In this response, I argue that (a) adding an existential dimension to enactivism is necessary to do justice to our way of being in the world and our specific sense-making and its problems; and (b) that this dimension can be incorporated within enactivism without giving up on either enactivism's commitment to naturalism or the enactive lifemind continuity thesis. My "existentialized" enactivism is very much enactive in that it adopts the thoroughly relational perspective that forms the core of enactivism. This relational perspective is also what distinguishes enactive theory from both extended mind theory and constructivism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-178
Number of pages6
JournalConstructivist Foundations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Enactive
  • Sense-making
  • Mind Theory


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