Embodied and Embedded Approaches to the Self
in Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine
Autumn School: 24 – 28 October 2011

The aim of this autumn school is to explore the practical applications and the theoretical scope of an embedded, embodied approach to the self and its disorders within psychiatry and psychosocial medicine. The autumn school will bring together researchers who are already working within this new perspective, to facilitate mutual exchange on research data and philosophical discussion.

We hereby invite young researchers working with embodied and embedded approaches in their respective fields to apply for the autumn school. The number of participants will be limited to 30 so as to maximize interaction. All participants are invited to introduce their own research. Moreover, there will be ample time scheduled for discussion.

For more information, see  autumnschoolheidelberg.wordpress.com


Posted below is the audio from the recent ‘Bodies of Thought’ conference held at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Christine Battersby  (University of Warwick), “A-Life, AI and B-Life: The Cognitive Sciences, Bare Life and Birthed Life”

Veronica Vasterling (Radbound University), “Nature-Nurture Revisited: The Dualist Underpinnings of Evolutionary Psychology and Social Constructionism”

Mirko Farina (MACCS, Sydney / University of Edinburgh), “Finding My Mind: A Case for Extended Cognition”

Mike Wheeler (University of Stirling), Ways of Mattering: Embodied Thought and Thinking Bodies”

John Protevi  (Louisiana State University), “Populations of Subjects”

Saray Ayala (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) “Manipulating Bodies & Incorporating Technology: Re-inventing Sex”

Susan Oyama (John Jay College & CUNY), Incidence, Essence, and Developmental Systems”

Chryssa Sdrolia (Goldsmiths, University of London), “For a Panexperientialist Metaphysics of Thought”

Lauren Freeman (Concordia University, Montreal), “Challenging A Panoptics of the Womb: Phenomenological Responses to the Problem of Diminished Epistemic Authority in Pregnancy”

Jess Cadwallader (University of Groningen), “Sedimentation, Wounded Attachments and Forgetting: Phenomenology and Psychopharmacology”

Eva De Clercq  (University of Pisa), “Toward an Ontology of Corporeal Uniqueness”

Special Issue of *Philosophical Explorations* on
“Extended Cognition and Epistemic Action”

Guest Editors: Andy Clark (University of Edinburgh), Duncan Pritchard (University of Edinburgh), Krist Vaesen (Eindhoven University of Technology)

Submission Deadline: September 15, 2011

Invited Contributors: Fred Adams (University of Delaware) & Ken Aizawa (Centenary College of Louisiana), Ronald Giere (University of Minnesota), Sanford Goldberg (Northwestern University), Richard Menary (University of Wollongong) and Kim Sterelny (Australian National University and Victoria University).

Background and Aim According to the thesis of extended cognition, cognitive processes do not need to be located inside the skin of the cognizing agent. Humans routinely engage their wider artifactual environment to extend the capacities of their naked brain. They often rely so much on external aids (notebooks, watches, smartphones) that the latter become a proper part of a hybrid (human-artifact) cognitive system.

The thesis of extended cognition has been influential in the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, linguistics, informatics, and ethics, but, surprisingly, not in epistemology. The discipline concerned with one of the most remarkable products of human cognition, viz. knowledge, has largely ignored the suggestion that her main object of study might be produced by processes outside the human skin.

In this special issue of *Philosophical Explorations* we therefore are looking for papers that explore the ramifications of the thesis of extended cognition for contemporary epistemology in general, and for conceptualizations of epistemic action in particular. The special issue will include five invited papers (by Fred Adams & Kenneth Aizawa, Ronald Giere, Sanford Goldberg, Richard Menary and Kim Sterelny), plus two contributions selected from the papers submitted in response to this open call for papers.

We expect contributions discussing the impact of extended cognition on issues as: epistemic agency and responsibility, cognitive ability, ownership of belief, the distribution of epistemic credit, the sources of belief, artifactual testimony, the growth of knowledge, non-propositional knowledge, the evolution and reliability of extended cognitive processes, the varieties of extended epistemic action.

Submission Details
Please send a pdf-version of your paper (max. 8000 words) to Krist Vaesen, k.vaesen@tue.nl. Contributions that do not make it to the special issue may be considered for publication in one of the regular issues of *Philosophical Explorations*.

Further Inquiries
Please direct any inquiries about this call for papers to Krist Vaesen, k.vaesen@tue.nl.

Bodies in Crisis, 2-4 November, 2011, University of Iceland Reykjavik

The Nordic Network Gender, Body, Health in collaboration with the Center for Women’s and Gender Research and the Center of Excellence at the University of Iceland.

2-4 November, 2011 University of Iceland, Reykjavik

The Nordic Network Gender, Body, Health is based at the Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University, Sweden and had its first network meeting in January 2008. With the aim of achieving productive interdisciplinary work on issues concerning gender, body, and health, the network gathers researchers and practitioners from a number of diverse fields such as medicine, comparative literature, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, cultural geography, sports- and health sciences, psychiatry, social psychology, and history of science.

We now invite submissions for the fifth meeting with the network Gender, Body, Health, an international conference under the theme “Bodies in Crisis”. The conference will take place on November 2-4, 2011 at the University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland in conjunction with the 20th Anniversary Conference of RIKK – The Center for Women’s and Gender Research at the University of Iceland.

We welcome submissions for papers, panels, and mini-workshops approaching issues within the overarching theme from a broad range of disciplines and fields of research.

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Representations and Discourses of Bodies in Crisis
  • Vulnerability and Suffering
  • Bodies in Economic Crisis and Poverty
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Sexuality and Reproduction in Times of Crisis
  • Global Bodies and Bodies in Transition
  • Bodily Boundaries and Integrity
  • Responsible Bodies and Crises of Responsibility
  • Healing and Cathartic Forces of Crisis

One page abstracts are due August 1, 2011. Please submit your abstracts to body@gender.uu.se. More information will be made available at www.genna.gender.uu.se/bodiesincrisis.

This conference was held at the RSE in Edinburgh on 9th-10th June 2011. We would like to thank all who contributed, especially those who gave papers!

Sessions included:

  • Christine Battersby’s dialogue with the work of Mike Wheeler and Andy Clark, exploring the extent to which embodied cognition / extended mind approaches would be transformed by foregrounding a female body that births;
  • Mike Wheeler’s paper focussing on the problems of multiple realizability that arise by taking seriously the specificity of different kinds of bodies (including sexed bodies) in such approaches;
  • John Protevi’s exploration of how to figure differentiating practices of gender, race and class so as to shift embodied/embedded/extended/enactive approaches away from assumptions about generic subjects;
  • Susan Oyama’s provocation to displace the nature/nurture divide and shift instead to seeing ‘nurture’ as the totality of developmental interactions that generate the ‘nature’ of (ever-changing) organisms in ways that allow us to see humans as fully social and biological beings.

Themes that emerged from these sessions ran through the conference, in discussions and papers which sought to re-think sex and gender through the lens of embodied cognition / extended mind theories, as well as to problematise or nuance such theories through an approach more attentive to issues of sex and gender, as well as to other bodily differences and vulnerabilities. Key shared concerns emerged, including the importance of escaping the explanatory power of dualist frameworks, and of emphasising the constitutive plasticity of the material, bodily and biological.

The general consensus was that a further event provoking dialogue and debate in this field would be worthwhile: if you have suggestions for the form this should take, please email us at: engenderingdialogue@dundee.ac.uk

Or watch this space for news of further developments!

The first Engendering Dialogue Research Network conference will be held at the Royal Society in Edinburgh on 9th-10th June 2011. ‘Bodies of Thought: Fleshy Subjects, Embodied Minds & Human Natures‘ puts feminist philosophers into dialogue with philosophers of the cognitive and biological sciences around the theme of bodies and their relation to thought, life, and (sexed) subjects.
Keynote speakers:

  • Dr Christine Battersby (Reader Emerita in Philosophy, University of Warwick)
  • Professor Susan Oyama (Professor Emerita in Psychology, John Jay College and CUNY Graduate Center, New York)
  • Professor John Protevi (Louisiana State University)
  • Professor Michael Wheeler (Professor of Philosophy, University of Stirling)

For the full conference programme, click here