Kant says that understanding makes nature, and he also says that in transcendental idealism that we create knowledge by our mind. So I think that these two can be related.

But I am confused whether Kant may be called a supporter of enactivism which holds that we selectively create our environment.

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    The whole point of Kant's philosophy is showing how and why there are necessary connections between the two stems of knowledge, sensibility and understanding: through the forms of intuitions, categories, and schematism (interesting for the question though: the role of the spontaneous imagination). Basically, we may err in perception, but we do not choose what to perceive. Also, would you mind finding the corresponding quotes for your claims about Kant? (I think they are broadly correct, but it would do less work for answers)
    – Philip Klöcking
    Dec 9, 2016 at 15:31

2 Answers 2


No, not given the notions of noumenon and phenomenon. The environment is already created by its origins in noumena. But our view of that environment is influenced by our interactions with phenomena. So we are only creating our interpretation of reality, not reality itself.


I don't know this definitely but I wouldn't expect Kant's distinction between phenomena and noumena which is quite abstract and often misunderstood to have influenced enactivism. It definitely doesn't involve any 'construction of reality' in the sense you might be referencing. However, Kant and many of his proponents did emphasize the sociality and embodiment of our interactions with the world.

Kant himself asserts that the body is a transcendental condition of experience. He also claims that practical reason has a primacy over theoretical reason (which, however, doesn't constitute a superficial irrationalism as practical reason remains a mode of reason but nevertheless shows Kant's emphasis on practice). Some claim that due to Kant's insistence on the active nature of our cognition he's also an early proponent of what would be called predictive processing, although of course Kant's claims are strictly philosophical and only by translating them onto a 'cognitive scientific' key we might conclude that Kant is the grandfather of this paradigm (but it's not rare for theories from one field to influence theories in another field, ex. statistical mechanics and Darwinian evolution, so I wouldn't complain too much).

Kant influenced Husserl and, through him, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty who definitely have been a great influence on enactivism.

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