Interactivist Summer Institute 2015
June 20 – 23, 2015
Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
The Interactivist Summer Institute is dedicated to exploring the frontiers of understanding of life, mind, and cognition. There is a growing recognition – across many disciplines – that phenomena of life and mind, including cognition and representation, are emergents of far-from-equilibrium, interactive, autonomous systems. In such a view, mind and biology, mind and agent, are re-united. The classical treatment of cognition and representation within a formalist framework of encodingist assumptions is increasingly recognized as a fruitless maze of blind alleys. From neurobiology to robotics, from cognitive science to philosophy of mind and language, dynamic and interactive alternatives are being explored. Dynamic systems approaches, enactivist and autonomous agent research join in the effort.
The interactivist model offers a theoretical approach to matters of life and mind, ranging from evolutionary- and neuro-biology (including the emergence of biological function) through representation, perception, motivation, memory, learning and development, emotions, consciousness, language, action theory, rationality, sociality, personality and psychopathology, and ethics. This work has developed interfaces with studies of central nervous system functioning, the ontology of process, autonomous agents, philosophy of science, and all areas of psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science that address the person.
The conference will involve both tutorials addressing central parts and aspects of the interactive model, and papers addressing current work of relevance to this general approach. This will be our eighth Summer Institute:
- Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 2001
- IT University, Copenhagen, Denmark 2003
- Clemson University, South Carolina 2005
- The American University in Paris, Paris 200
- Simon Fraser University, Vancouver 2009
- University of the Aegean, Syros, Greece 2011
- University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Fl 2013
The Summer Institute is a biennial meeting where those sharing the core interests and ideas of interactivism will meet and discuss their work, try to reconstruct its historical roots, put forward current research in different fields that fits the interactivist framework, and define research topics for prospective graduate students. People working in philosophy of mind, linguistics, social sciences, artificial intelligence, cognitive robotics, theoretical biology, and other fields related to the sciences of mind are invited to send their paper submission or statement of interest for participation to the organizers.
Another step in my ongoing efforts to push the enactive approach into the area of social and cultural anthropology…
Originally posted on Dr. Tom Froese:
Ever since I first visited the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan several years ago, I wanted to learn as much as possible about its unique culture. Here is one of the products of that quest: a paper combining complex systems modeling with Mesoamerican archaeology and the anthropology of ritual.
Tom Froese, Carlos Gershenson and Linda R. Manzanilla
Teotihuacan was the first urban civilization of Mesoamerica and one of the largest of the ancient world. Following a tradition in archaeology to equate social complexity with centralized hierarchy, it is widely believed that the city’s origin and growth was controlled by a lineage of powerful individuals. However, much data is indicative of a government of co-rulers, and artistic traditions expressed an egalitarian ideology. Yet this alternative keeps being marginalized because the problems of collective action make…
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A paper for all the embodied social interaction fans…
Originally posted on Dr. Tom Froese:
A study done with Hiro Iizuka and Takashi Ikegami about the recapitulation of the development of social awareness in pars of adults engaged in minimal embodied interaction.
Tom Froese, Hiroyuki Iizuka, and Takashi Ikegami
According to the enactive approach to cognitive science, perception is essentially a skillful engagement with the world. Learning how to engage via a human-computer interface (HCI) can therefore be taken as an instance of developing a new mode of experiencing. Similarly, social perception is theorized to be primarily constituted by skillful engagement between people, which implies that it is possible to investigate the origins and development of social awareness using multi-user HCIs. We analyzed the trial-by-trial objective and subjective changes in sociality that took place during a perceptual crossing experiment in which embodied interaction between pairs of adults was mediated over a minimalist haptic…
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Paper from last year on action, counterfactual action and neurophenomenology – also with links to direct perception.
May be of interest!