, Volume 195, Issue 12, pp 5297–5317 | Cite as

Action, affordances, and anorexia: body representation and basic cognition

  • Stephen GadsbyEmail author
  • Daniel Williams


We evaluate a growing trend towards anti-representationalism in cognitive science in the context of recent research into the development and maintenance of anorexia nervosa in cognitive neuropsychiatry. We argue two things: first, that this research relies on an explanatorily robust concept of representation—the concept of a long-term body schema; second, that this body representation underlies our most basic environmental interactions and affordance perception—the psychological phenomena supposed to be most hospitable to a non-representationalist treatment.


Representation Anorexia Affordances Content Basic cognition Enactivism Action Action-oriented Embodied Hard problem of content Radical 



We would like to thank the Cognition and Philosophy Lab at Monash University and two anonymous reviewers for their feedback. This research was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship (S.G.) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (D.W).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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