Over the last three decades, the rise of embodied cognition (EC) articulated in various schools (or versions) of embodied, embedded, extended and enacted cognition (Gallagher’s 4E) has offered AI a way out of traditional computationalism—an approach (or an understanding) loosely referred to as embodied AI. This view has split into various branches ranging from a weak form on the brink of functionalism (loosely represented by Clarks’ parity principle) to a strong form (often corresponding to autopoietic-friendly enactivism) suggesting that body–world interactions constitute cognition. From an ontological perspective, however, constitution is a problematic notion with no obvious empirical or technical advantages. This paper discusses the ontological issues of these two approaches in regard to embodied AI and its ontological commitments: circularity, epiphenomenalism, mentalism, and disguised dualism. The paper also outlines an even more radical approach that may offer some ontological advantages. The new approach, called the mind-object identity, is then briefly compared with sensorimotor direct realism and with the embodied identity theory.
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