The Life & Mind Seminar Network

Special issue has been released!

Posted in Seminars by Tom Froese on March 15, 2016

Lots of interesting contributions here by various Life and Minders….

Dr. Tom Froese

It’s been a long time in the making, but finally it has come out: a special issue of Constructivist Foundations dedicated to a comprehensive reflection on the relationships between enaction and other alternative approaches to cognitive science! It is the biggest issue of the journal yet.

For a small donation you can get a print version of the special issue delivered to you! Please help to support this free online journal. Click the link for details:


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Workshops at Artificial Life 2016

Posted in Seminars by Tom Froese on March 8, 2016

These workshops should be interesting for life and minders…

Dr. Tom Froese

In addition to helping to organize this year’s International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (ALIFE 2016), I am contributing to the organization of two associated workshops. Here are the calls for abstracts.

The Biological Foundations of Enactivism

The workshop will bring together researchers in enactive cognition, computational modeling, biology, and philosophy, to discuss the biological foundations of enactivism. Of particular interest are issues related to the maintenance of autonomous systems, and the origins of autonomous systems.

Submissions to the workshop are extended abstracts (1 or 2 pages). Contributions may be original or previously published. Accepted abstracts will be put online. Authors of accepted submissions will present their project to the workshop in a 5-10 minute talk.

Submission deadline is May 13, 2016.

Multidisciplinary Applications of Evolutionary Game Theory

Evolutionary game theory is profoundly interdisciplinary and the flow of knowledge between different fields is of crucial…

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ALife XV: Call for Workshops and Tutorials

Posted in Seminars by Eduardo on December 1, 2015
The ALife XV Organizing Committee invites proposals for Tutorials and Workshops to be held in conjunction with the Fifteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (ALife XV), which will be held in Cancun, Mexico on July 4th-8th, 2016. 

If accepted, ALife will provide the onsite logistics (seminar rooms, projectors, coffee breaks, and lunches) and links from the main conference website. All other organizational issues – including separate review process and proceedings publication, if any – are taken care of by the workshop chairs. Therefore, any workshop-specific requests from participants should be exclusively addressed to them, not to the ALife committee. The internal organization of the satellite workshops and tutorials (website, paper submission, invited talks, proceedings, all deadlines except registration) is entirely left up to their respective organizers. Participation in workshops and tutorials requires conference registration.

Important Dates

Submission of Workshop/Tutorial Proposals is open now. We will receive applications until January 15th, 2016. The notification of acceptance will be given within two weeks of receiving the proposal.

Workshop/Tutorial Information and/or submission proposal:

Workshop Proposals

The ALife XV workshops are intended to be forums to present and discuss new approaches, visions, or critical reflections within a research area. They provide an excellent opportunity to meet people with similar interests, to be exposed to cutting-edge research and to exchange ideas in an informal setting. The organizers of an accepted workshop are responsible for its coordination and its publicity (e.g., for sending out call for papers/abstracts), for collecting and reviewing the papers/abstracts, and for maintaining a webpage providing a list of accepted talks. The workshops are typically half day long. The format can be decided by the organizers who are encouraged to plan interactive sessions.

Tutorial Proposals

ALife XV tutorials will be presented by domain experts to cover current topics relevant to artificial life researchers and practitioners. Each tutorial will be 3 hours long, then we encourage to include into the tutorial also demos and interactive activities. Accepted tutorial’s slide sets will be published on ALife XV website.

Submission Process

Each tutorial/workshop proposal should include:
1) title of the workshop/tutorial
2) name(s) and affiliation(s) of the organizer(s)/inspector(s), with relative contact details
3) a short CV of the organizer(s)/instructor(s)
4) a brief description (half-page) of the workshop/tutorial topics

Only for workshops:
5) potential target participants and audience
6) roughly approximated number of participants
7) rough estimate of the number of talks
All proposals must be sent to:
Looking forward to your submissions.

Best wishes,
 Eduardo J. Izquierdo

CFP: Artificial Life 2016, Cancun, Mexico

Posted in CFP by Tom Froese on October 30, 2015

Hopefully we will be able to give the next instalment of this conference series an enactive flavour… there should be quite a few Life and Minders coming to present their work at this event!

Dear friends and Colleagues,

ALife 2016 will showcase a wide range of topics in Artificial Life, bringing together world-leading researchers to discuss the latest advances in Artificial Life. Topics include (but are not restricted to), Evolutionary Robotics, Synthetic Biology, Evolutionary Dynamics, Computational Biology, Systems Neuroscience, Bioethics, Evolutionary Programming, Genetic Algorithms, Biological Engineering, Dynamic Approaches to Cognition, Artificial Neural Networks, and more.

The ALife 2016 Program Committee invites the submission of papers describing your best work in Artificial Life and related fields. Given the interdisciplinary nature of our field, work in all of the spectrum of sciences and humanities is welcome, considering the main conference themes of simulation and synthesis of living systems.

The submission deadline for extended abstracts and full papers is February 14th, 2016. Each submission to ALife 2016 will be rigorously evaluated in a double blind review process. Full papers will be reviewed for relevance, scientific, engineering, and/or philosophical quality, sound methodology and use of appropriate analysis techniques. Extended abstracts will be reviewed for relevance and quality. Accepted contributions will be published by MIT Press in open online proceedings.

There are two options for submission: either full paper or extended abstract. Note that the format is the same for both options. The only difference resides in the number of pages and type of contents:

– Full papers have an 8-page maximum length and should report on new, unpublished work.
– Extended abstracts are limited to two pages and can report on previously published work, but offer a new perspective on that work.

Important dates:

Submission of papers or abstracts: February 16th, 2016
Notifications: March 25, 2016
Camera-ready versions April 24th, 2016

Please apply here:

Best regards

Dr. Carlos Gershenson

Reference request: autopoiesis and hurricanes, fire etc.

Posted in General by Nathaniel Virgo on September 7, 2015

I’m wondering if the readers of this blog can help me out with a reference request. I’m currently putting together a paper about the relationship between autopoiesis and dissipative structures, which is partly following on from conversations that took place on the pages of this blog several years ago. The point is that structures like hurricanes have many of the properties of an autopoietic system – they consist of a network of processes that maintain the system as a unity distinct from its environment, albeit with a blurry boundary – and that this has both practical and philosophical implications that we should pay attention to, especially if we’re enactivists who are interested in the origin of life.

My question is whether the issue of hurricanes (and/or related dissipative structures such as fire) has been directly addressed in previous literature. I’ve been having these discussions with people for years, and I don’t think the idea was exactly new when I started, so I’m interested in tracing its history. Is there anything in the work of Maturana and Varela or their contemporaries that directly addresses this issue? Or is there anything substantial that has been written about it more recently? If so it would be very valuable to know about it, so that I can cite it in my paper.

I would be particularly happy to find an explicit argument that hurricanes (or other dissipative structures) should not be considered as falling within the framework of autopoiesis, or the enactive paradigm more broadly.