Author: Susana Ramírez-Vizcaya

5E Cognition: Virtual Embodiment and Artificial Intelligence

The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy (UTCP) in collaboration with University of Cincinnati is hosting a workshop exploring topics related to Enactive and Ecological accounts of Embodied Cognition, Comparative Chinese and Japanese Philosophy, and Artificial Intelligence. The workshop will be held at the University of Tokyo campus on December 6th and 7th 2018.

5E Cognition refers to the coalition of enactive, extended, embedded, ecological, and embodied theories of cognition and action. The general scope of the workshop is to discuss the implications of Artificial Intelligence, virtual environments, and technological artifacts through the interdisciplinary lens of 5E Cognition. They plan to explore the ways in which human action, perception, and cognition may be profoundly changed by our increasingly digital world. How technology expands, augments, and inhibits the human capacity for ethical and social practice is of particular interest.


20th Herbstakademie Freiburg 2019: Synchronization in Embodied Interaction

It is part of the series of Herbstakademie meetings dedicated to the topic of complex systems in psychology, social sciences and the humanities. The conference will take place in the spring of next year (February 28 – March 2, 2019). It will be hosted by the University of Freiburg, Germany, and supported by the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) (

Information on the upcoming and on previous meetings of the Herbstakademie community is provided here:


CALL FOR PAPERS. Special Issue of the Journal Synthese: RADICAL VIEWS ON COGNITION

Guest Editor(s): Marcos Silva (Federal University of Alagoas) and Francicleber Ferreira
(Federal University of Ceará)

Special Issue Description:

Several contemporary philosophers have been developing tenets in pragmatism (broadly construed) to motivate it as an alternative philosophical foundation for a comprehensive understanding of cognition, opposed to a far-reaching representationalist tradition.
This long-established representationalist tradition in philosophy of mind and cognitive science defends that cognition is fundamentally content-involving. On the other side, some radical contenders advocate that cognition is neither basically representational nor does it involve, as in usual internalist views, processing or manipulating informational contents. They call attention to the importance of inherited and embodied practices and social interactions in order to understand relevant topics in perception, language and the nature of intentionality. They take seriously evolving biological systems and situated individuals interacting in communities over time as preconditions of our rationality, features often dismissed as not central in the representationalist and internalist tradition.


Fully funded PhD Studentship in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, supervised by Dr Matthew Egbert

Project: Simulating the behaviour of proto-cells
What was the first organism? Amazing advances have been made in understanding how life’s molecular building blocks first emerged, but it remains unclear what caused these molecules to develop into a first integrated organism. In this project, we will develop computational simulations of protocells and related dissipative structures to investigate the possibility that the organism-like behaviours demonstrated by simple non-living physical structures facilitated the earliest stages of life’s evolution. The development of these models and simulations will be conducted alongside real-world experimental work done locally and with international collaborators.


Special Issue on “Computational Models of Affordance for Robotics”. CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

Gibson’s theory of affordance, in its adherence to bottom-up direct perception, is antithetical to the top-down inferential models often proposed by modern robotics research purporting to tackle it. Such research assumes internal representation to be sacrosanct, but given current developments, to what extent can this assumption now be re-examined? The recently proposed sensorimotor contingency theory furthers the theoretical argument that internal representation is unnecessary, and its proof- of-concept application in robotics as well as the subsequent explosion in deep learning methodology sheds new light on the possibility of equipping robots with the capacity for directly perceiving their environments by exploiting correlated changes in their sensory inputs triggered by executing specific motor programs. This re-examination of direct perception is only one of several issues warranting scrutiny in current robotic affordance research.

The aim of this special issue is to highlight the relevance of Gibson’s notion of affordance for developmental and cognitive robotics. The issue is focused on contributions from the current panorama of robotics with an emphasis on theories from the ecological, cognitive, developmental and sensorimotor accounts.

Time, the Body, and the Other: Phenomenological and Psychopathological Approaches. 13th-15th September 2018, Heidelberg

This conference aims at exploring and discussing the intertwinement of temporality, embodiment and intersubjectivity from phenomenological and psychopathological approaches.

Explorations of the phenomenology of time have most often been accomplished from the first-person perspective of consciousness (Husserl) or existential philosophy (Heidegger). There exists, however, significant work on bodily subjectivity, intercorporeality and their temporal dimension as, for instance, by Maurice-Merleau-Ponty or Michel Henry. Nevertheless, a fundamental investigation into the constitutive interrelationship of bodily existence, its temporal dynamics and its interpersonal embeddedness is still a desideratum. It is the target of the conference to explore these dimensions by means of phenomenological and psychopathological methods.


ENSO Seminar Series: Dan D. Hutto. Beyond Content: Explications, Motivations and Implications

Beyond Content: Explications, Motivations and Implications

Dan D. Hutto

University of Wollongong
April 4, 2018, 11 p.m. UTC // April 4, 2018, 6 p.m. in America/Mexico_City

Radically Enactive Cognition, or REC, proposes that cognition is best modelled on the activities of living systems. It construes cognition as fundamentally interactive, dynamic and relational. Controversially, REC also holds that in its most basic form cognition is not content-involving: it is neither representational at root, nor does it involve picking up and processing informational contents that are used, stored and reused to get cognitive work done. This presentation situates our evolving account of REC within the wider theoretical landscape. It will: (1) clarify how REC understands the thesis that basic cognition lacks content; (2) review reasons that motivate adopting that thesis, so construed; and (3) outline the theoretical consequences of such adoption, including some of the questions and new lines of research it inspires.

Event page:

CALL FOR PAPERS – Adaptive Behavior Special issue on “Post-cognitivist approaches to perceptual learning”

The classical cognitivist theory in cognitive science depicts perception as the result of information processing of sense data, which is transformed into a representation of the original information to be useful for the human mind. In the same vein, perceptual learning has been understood as an enrichment of sensations by representational mechanisms. In this view, the improvement in performance must be understood as the effect of a sophistication of computational algorithms entailing a better interpretation of sensory stimuli.

At the end of the 20th century, criticism against the cognitivist framework and its ideas of perception, cognition, and representation started to arise. Some of these arguments crystallized in alternative theories of cognition that offers an innovative way to understand perception and, consequently, perceptual learning.

The aim of this special issue is to document the theories and research that highlight a “4E cognition” approach to perceptual learning. The issue is focused on contributions from the current panorama of post-cognitivism with an emphasis on theories from the ecological, enactive and sensorimotor accounts.


21st ENSO Seminar: TONY CHEMERO. Radical Embodiment and Real Cognition

The 21st ENSO Seminar will be presented by Tony Chemero!

Next week, Thursday 8th March @ 3pm UTC, Tony will present on Radical Embodiment and Real Cognition. The details of the talk, including the time in your own timezone, can be found on the ENSO webpage.


A persistent criticism of radical embodied cognitive science is that it will be impossible to explain “real cognition” without invoking mental representations. This talk will provide an account of explicit, real-time thinking of the kind we engage in when we imagine counter-factual situations, remember the past, and plan for the future. We will first present a very general non-representational account of explicit thinking, based on pragmatist philosophy of science. Then we will present a more detailed instantiation of this general account drawing on nonlinear dynamics and ecological psychology. This talk is based on a paper co-authored with Gui Sanches de Oliveira and Vicente Raja.