Enactive Agnosis: The playful use of form as a bodily activity of (not) knowing

DProf thesis

Dieppe, C. 2023. Enactive Agnosis: The playful use of form as a bodily activity of (not) knowing. DProf thesis Middlesex University / Ashridge Business School Business School
TypeDProf thesis
TitleEnactive Agnosis: The playful use of form as a bodily activity of (not) knowing
AuthorsDieppe, C.

This is an action research inquiry that takes place within the National Health Service in the UK. I am an NHS consultant, working primarily clinically, who has been involved and interested in change and improvement since 2010. I embarked on this doctorate with the intention of knowing how to do change better, to enhance the impact of conversations about change, and to undertake second-person action research that would impact on how we improve care in the NHS.
Early in the doctorate a move of cities and organisations revealed the challenge of context and how it shapes and constrains any possible inquiry. COVID-19 was then added into the mix a couple of years later and what emerged in response was first-person inquiry into my own epistemology. An exploration that resulted in a markedly altered understanding of ‘knowing’ and ‘not-knowing’ or perhaps more appropriately ‘not-knowledging’ and a focus on methodology.
This thesis is about coming to recognise the challenge and importance of ‘not-knowing’ in the context of change and healthcare, the importance of physicality and metaphor, of knowing versus knowledge, of playfulness as a mindset and of a pragmatic, realistic ‘ish’ positioning. About weaving these ideas into the overarching concept of enactive agnosis.
Enactive agnosis is offered as a methodology and a mindset in the realms of action research, arts-based research and healthcare change. A pragmatic, realistic, playful approach that recognises, enables and enacts ‘not-knowing’ and ‘good enough’ within the context of inquiry and change. A process of bodily active metaphorical knowing that holds and values the space of not-knowledging long enough to make sense differently, to know, to change.

KeywordsEnactive cognition, metaphor, change, action research, relational change, first-person, individual insider, inquiry, poetry, healthcare, method, form, arts-based research, epistemology of practice, epistemology, methodology, physicality, body, play, playfulness, ignorance, pragmatic, ‘ish’
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
Department nameBusiness School
Institution nameMiddlesex University / Ashridge Business School
Publication dates
Print10 Feb 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Feb 2023
Accepted16 Jan 2023
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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