Call for Abstracts – Pretend Play and E-Cognition

When: 19-20 September 2019
Where:University of Antwerp, Belgium


This conference seeks to explore if and how E-Cognition theories, which aim to understand cognition through the interplay between the brain processes, bodily capacities and environmental contexts, can improve our understanding of pretend, imaginative and creative practices.

E-Cognition refers to a young field of interdisciplinary research on embodied, embedded, enactive, extensive and ecological cognition, as well as ecological psychology, sensorimotor theory and dynamical systems theory.

Pretend play practices include playing with objects ‘as if’ they were another, role playing, make-believe play, having imaginary friends, making-up new games, creating rules in games, confabulating, storytelling, making fictional scripts, and acting.

The conference will address newest developments in philosophical theories of E-Cognition in the field of pretense and imagination, as well as latest empirical studies on pretend and creative forms of play from psychological research.

Confirmed keynotes:

Thalia Goldstein – George Mason University, USA
Arkadiusz Gut & Monika Chylinska – Catholic University Lublin, Poland
Vasuvedi Reddy – University of Portsmouth, UK
Agnes Szokolszky – University of Szeged, Hungary
Martin Weichold – Regensburg University, Germany


Abstracts are invited on, but not limited to, the following themes / questions:

  • Which cognitive skills are needed in order to pretend play? Does pretense, imagination or creativity require representing, and if so, what form of representing?
  • What is needed in order to develop imaginative skills and creativity? How does the material and social environment affect such development?
  • What is the role of affordances, theory of mind, scripts, metaphors, affectivity or social cognition in pretend play practices?
  • What is the scope of the E-Cognition theories on our understanding of pretense, imagination and creativity?
  • Can E-Cognition explain pretend play? Can E-Cognition guide new empirical research on pretend play?

Submission details:

We invite submissions for a 20-minute presentation, followed by 10-minute discussion.

Abstracts must be approximately 500 words in length, not including references, submitted in MS-Word or PDF format.

Abstracts must be submitted to the e-mail listed below, on or before 31-May-2019.

Notification of acceptance: 21-June-2019

E-mail contact and abstract submission:

Website: TBA

The workshop is sponsored by the University of Antwerp, and the Research Foundation Flanders


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.


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:


1–5 AUGUST 2018


  • Roger Ames, Beijing University, China
  • Stephen Cowley, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Graham Crookes, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, USA
  • Hannele Dufva, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Andrew Lambert, College of Staten Island, CUNY, USA
  • Li-Hsiang Lisa Rosenlee, University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu, USA
  • Sune Steffensen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Paul Thibault, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway
  • Steven Thorne, Portland State University, USA
  • Li Wei, University College London, UK
  • Chuming Wang, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China



The cognitive sciences, including its neural branches, continue to flourish. But what exactly is cognition? Recent developments in Embodied, Embedded and Enactive approaches to cognition, or E-cognition, have drawn attention to the numerous ways in which embodied situated interaction might be more intimately related to cognition than previously acknowledged. E-cognition is often taken to raise concerns about the tenability of a conception of cognition according to which in-the-head representational and/or computational mechanisms breathe cognitive life into organismic activities that would otherwise be mere bodily motion. But do E-factors call for a replacement or merely a reform of standard conceptions of cognition? And what exactly should be the new concept of cognition? Relatedly, the arrival of E-cognition leads to such questions as whether or not we need to reconsider the relation between cognition (including perception) and behavior, what explanations of cognition consist of, and what role the brain should play in such explanations.


Seminar on enactivism and autopoiesis

This online seminar should be of interest to members of our group…
Dear ENSO Community,
It is my pleasure to kick off the 2017 year of ENSO Seminars with a talk by Mario Villalobos entitled Radical enactivism and autopoietic theory of cognition: Prospects for a full revolution in cognitive science. The abstract and other details of the talk can be found on the ENSO Seminar page for the event.
This will be the 13th Seminar in our series, taking place on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, 8 p.m. UTC. (You can have this time automagically translated into your local time by visiting the aforementioned ENSO Seminar page.)
If you are interested in participating in the live session, please send me an email before or during the event and I will respond by sending you a link that you can follow to participate. For this link to work, you will need to have the browser plugin for google hangouts.
After this talk has been delivered, we will have had talks from nine different countries: Ireland, USA, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Germany, New Zealand, Amsterdam, and Chile!
We are currently looking for volunteers for talks in March and later in the year. Please consider giving a talk — especially if you are hailing from a country that has not yet been represented!
I hope to see you there!
All the best,
Matthew & Marek

Special issue on the enactive approach


edited by

Roberta Lanfredini
Nicola Liberati
Andrea Pace Giannotta
Elena Pagni


This Special Issue is dedicated to building a bridge between different disciplines concerned in the investigation of the qualitative dimension of experience and reality. The two main objectives of the Issue can be summarized as follows:

  • to elucidate the need for a revision of categories to account for the qualitative dimension in various disciplines (that include, for example, the cognitive sciences, neurosciences, biology, linguistics, informatics, artificial intelligence, robotics, newly emerging computer technologies) in order to develop an ontology that can better account for the qualitative, dynamic and relational aspects of different domains of reality;
  • to explore the implications of the enactivist view for a relational and ecological account of the qualitative dimensions of life and cognition;