language

Three talks at the Evolution of Cultural Complexity session

Our group will be well represented at the Evolution of Cultural Complexity satellite session of the Conference on Complex Systems 2017 in Cancun. The session will take place on Sept. 21.

We have two student abstracts accepted:
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Poster presentations at the C3

On June 8 members if our group participated in an event at the Centre for the Sciences of Complexity (C3) called: “C3: Un Centro Transversal para la UNAM”.

We created a number of posters about our current work in progress:

CFP: LangEnact II

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: LANGENACT II. GROUNDING LANGUAGE IN SENSORIMOTOR COORDINATION 

25 September – 27 September 2017

Call deadline: 28 April 2017

By Stephen J. Cowley, University of Southern Denmark (cowley@sdu.dk) 

The Centre for Human Interactivity invites you to contribute to LangEnact II, Meaning Without Representation: Grounding Language in Sensorimotor Coordination to take place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 25-27 September, 2017 at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

Radical embodied approaches to language offer an alternative to neurocentric alternatives. They are inspired, on the one hand, by Wittgenstein’s focus on communities and Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of the body. On the other, they build on how Hutchins and Kirsh opened the way to studying cognition beyond the brain. Accordingly, meaning – and, in human forms of life, language – are taken to derive from what Francisco Varela and Humberto Maturana call the enactment of a world and a mind:

“(…) cognition is not the representation of a pre-given world by a pre-given mind but is rather the enactment of a world and a mind on the basis of a history of the variety of actions that a being in the world performs” (Varela, Thompson, Rosch, The Embodied Mind, MIT Press, p. 9).

Until recently, those rejecting computational views have tended to neglect language. In putting this to rights, we address “meaning without representation” by asking how language can be, on the one hand, an effective means of interpersonal coordination and, on the other, grounded in individual bodies that bring forth an encultured and lived world. The conference places this question at the confluence of two traditions: while enactive linguistics makes embodiment central to rethinking French theories of ‘enunciation’ and the nature of langues (language-systems), the distributed-ecological perspective builds on cognitive science by tracing language, not to verbal patterns, but to how people coordinate bodily movement as they make their way in a (partly) common world.  (more…)