The Life & Mind Seminar Network

The Future of the Embodied Mind Summer School 2011

Posted in CFP, General by Ezequiel on May 13, 2011

5-9 September 2011 San Sebastian, Spain

* Program

* Venue

* Registration (deadline 30th June)


The first summer school of the eSMCs: Extending Sensorimotor Contingencies to Cognition project will be held in San Sebastián, Spain between 5-9 September, 2011.

The summer school focuses on cognition in artificial and biological systems from a theoretical perspective that considers embodiment, situatedness, and action-relatedness as key elements in understanding and implementing cognitive systems.

The school will expose young researchers to theoretical ideas and modeling techniques, thereby facilitating a wider understanding of the broader enactive approach to cognition. It will take place against the background of the celebration of 20 years of the publication of the book “The Embodied Mind” by Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch. This book is a symbolic landmark demarcating the beginnings of the consolidation of the embodied turn into a theoretically-loaded gathering of insights, discoveries and ideas within the sciences of the mind. The summer school will gather several of the different disciplines affected by this turn (robotics, neuroscience, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, AI) and some of the main protagonists in these fields. The objective will simultaneously be a taking stock of progress in embodied approaches over the last two decades and the elucidation of current challenges and directions. The school will have a duration of 5 days, each day featuring 2 or 3 talks in the morning by invited speakers, smaller discussion groups and workshops in the afternoon, and a general discussion session in the evening.

The school is initiated and substantially funded by the consortium of the “eSMCs” project, a newly starting STREP funded by IST-Cognitive Systems and by the euCognition II network.


* Randall Beer, Cognitive Science Program, Indiana University, USA

* Ezequiel Di Paolo, Ikerbasque – University of the Basque Country, Spain

* Andreas Engel, Department of Neurophysiology and Pathophysiology, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

* Thomas Fuchs, Klinik für Allgemeine Psychiatrie, Zentrum für Psychosoziale Medizin, Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg, Germany

* Shaun Gallagher, Moss Chair of Excellence in Philosophy, University of Memphis, USA and Research Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science. University of Hertfordshire, UK

* Inman Harvey, Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics, University of Sussex, UK

* Danica Kragic, Centre for Autonomous Systems, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

* Susan Oyama, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Graduate School and University Center, CUNY, USA

* Rolf Pfeifer, AI Lab, University of Zürich, Switzerland

* John Protevi, Department of French Studies, Louisiana State University, USA

* Evan Thompson, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto, Canada

* Michael Wheeler, Department of Philosophy, University of Stirling, UK


There are 40 places available for participants who are not associated with the project. Please follow the instructions in the Participation page of the school site.

The deadline for registration is 30 June 2011.

Bursaries to partially cover travel and accommodation costs will be available for participants not associated with the project. More information coming soon.


Chair Organiser:  Ezequiel Di Paolo
Organising committee:  Xabier Barandiaran, Andreas Engel, Alexander Maye


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