Walking as Intelligent Enactment: A New Realist Approach

Adam Lovasz 1
  • 1 Eötvös Lóránd University,, Budapest, Hungary


Walking is an activity that always unfolds within a certain landscape. Tim Ingold has used the notion of “taskscape” to denote pragmatic uses of terrain. Whilst walking, we come to intersect with a variety of taskscapes. As Julia Tanney has highlighted, formal language can only get us so far when thinking about spontaneous, non-theoretical and non-representational activities. Borrowing Gilbert Ryle’s distinction between “knowing that” and knowing how”, I argue for a concept of walking that does not privilege intentions. When somebody walks, they melt into a taskscape not entirely of their own design. Mind is inherently ecological. It is enacted within a certain ecology, and is actually inseparable from its environment. Mind is the sum of intelligent enactments. According to the position I seek to advance in this article, walking may be approached in an object-oriented manner. Each form of behavior composes an enactment that meshes with a certain ecology, what W. Teed Rockwell has called a “behavioral field.” Mind is the inherently relational enactment of a set of behavioral dispositions which are always already enmeshed within a field. When these dispositions enter what, following Markus Gabriel, may be called “fields of sense”, mind and walking become independent objects in their own right.

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