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Another publication added to resources

September 1st, 2011 by Thomas Buehrmann

This paper provides some background for Jan-Olof Eklundh’s talk:

New presentation slides available

August 31st, 2011 by Thomas Buehrmann

We’ve added presentation slides for the talks of John Protevi and Evan Thompson to our resources:

As the authors have suggested, these might be useful if you want to look ahead at where the talks are going or follow along during the presentation. They might also contain additional content that can’t be covered in the given timeframe.


New paper on Resources page

August 29th, 2011 by Ezequiel Di Paolo

A paper by Susan Oyama that is relevant for her talk, has been been added to the Resources page. Please, check this page for other relevant material and we remind you that yous should read and bring your comments on at least 3 papers from this list.

Oyama, S. (2007) Development “Sin Techo, Sin Muros”, Psychomedia. Journal of European Psychoanalysis. Humanities Philosophy Psychotherapies, 25, 2007/2.



accommodation for Sunday night 4 September?

August 25th, 2011 by Joel Parthemore


I have accommodation sorted for the rest of the week but not for Sunday night, when I will be arriving, late, from Bilbao… around midnight.  Any suggestions?

Varela, Thompson and Rosch vs. (?!) Noë and O’Regan

August 23rd, 2011 by Mike Beaton

I’ve finally got round to working through Varela, Thompson and Rosch, The Embodied Mind (VTR) in detail for the first time.

I find it interesting that Ezequiel has said that he finds Noë and O’Regan’s brand of enactivism (N&O) to be interesting, but in need of more theory. Whereas my reaction, on reading VTR, is similar, but opposite!

I find talk of ‘structural coupling’, ‘operational closure’, etc. to be intriguing, but not natural to me, so I have very little idea how to make it mathematical, and useful; whereas talk of ‘perception as action’, in the N&O sense, is very natural to me, and I do have ideas about how to make it mathematical and useful – indeed, making that aspect of enaction mathematical seems to be the main thrust of Kevin O’Regan’s research work at the moment.

I’ve (just!) said this to Ezequiel and he says that part of the problem is that VTR is mainly a manifesto, and that I should look elsewhere “say, in the BBS paper on the enactive theory of colours, on later work on life and mind continuity, the work on long-range neural synchrony in perception and epilepsy, etc” for more theory.

But I think Ezequiel still downplays the significance of N&O’s variety of enactivism. The question here is about how broad ranging these two, self-styled brands of enactivism are. VTR are certainly trying to link (at least) sciences of mind, evolutionary and developmental biology and mindfulness practices. But how broad ranging is N&O’s work? I hope it is OK to quote Ezequiel, in an off the cuff comment, as saying that it is “an account of sensorimotor factors influencing perceptual experience”. For me, it is much more than that. It is an account of the essential nature of perceptual experience, from both the first and third person. (I tried to say something about how one account can be both first- and third-person in my thesis, and in Qualia and Introspection in JCS.)

I do think a lot of what N&O and VTR say is compatible – and the spirit of what they both say perhaps even more so. But there are points where they seem to me to disagree quite fundamentally. One such is hinted at in the Summer School discussion question I settled on (‘what does experience correspond to?’). Others might be disagreements over the import of J.J. Gibson’s work; or over the relation between experience and understanding; or possibly even over whether there is a self – of course not construed as an essential, intrinsic thing, but at least construed as a process.

Participant profiles

July 29th, 2011 by Thomas Buehrmann

Just a few comments regarding profiles on the blog:

1. The profiles are publicly visible, but we don’t show email addresses. If you really don’t want your profile to show up at all, let us know and we can hide it.

2. You can choose how your name is being displayed in the list of participants. Simply choose the option you prefer in your profile, which is accessible from the sidebar. In the “Name” section you will find the menu option “Display name publicly as”.

3. On your profile page you can also amend any of the information you were required to provide during registration, as well as add a photo if you like.


July 29th, 2011 by Thomas Buehrmann

The blog is now open for registration to participants of the summer school. You’ll find a link to the registration page in the sidebar. You should also have received an email with details about the kind of information we would like you to provide.

When posting on the blog, please use one of the pre-defined categories so that members can find specific threads more easily.

We look forward to meeting you in San Sebastian.