12 February 2011

The Socially Extended Mind Conference

The Socially Extended Mind Conference

When: March 21-22

Where: Cluster Languages of Emotion, Freie Universität Berlin

Philosophical approaches to the 'extended mind', most rigorously advocated in recent years by Andy Clark, centre around the idea that human mentality is constitutively dependent upon external structures functioning as indispensable "scaffolds" of cognitive processes. In particular, a broad range of tools such as computers, calculators, symbol systems as well as a host of external storage devices have been invoked as cognitive extensions. However, so far, neither the nature of more complex and distributed social structures, arrangements and institutions relevant to cognitive extensions, nor the domain of emotion has received sufficient attention.

Most theorizing within the 'extended mind' approach focuses on the causal coupling of an individual’s cognitive processes with narrowly circumscribed environmental items or structures. The broad contexts in which these tools themselves are enmeshed and on which their use and functioning often depend are not explored. Likewise, the institutional backgrounds and human communities, with their specific structures and arrangements in which individual cognizers at any time dwell, have not appeared on the radar of most scholars. Similary, although human emotions are constantly shaped, informed, channelled, and regulated by external structures of various kinds – for example by different media, works of art, arranged spaces, communal practices, technologies and certainly by language – ›extended emotion‹ has not been a topic of discussion. The workshop will address these lacunae in interrelated ways with the aim to extend 'extended mind' theory and give it a more realistic and theoretically well-founded outlook.

Contact and Registration
Nicola Uther

Conference Venue
Freie Universität Berlin
Cluster Languages of Emotion
Room KL 32/202
Habelschwerdter Allee 45 (Rostlaube)
D-14195 Berlin

Prof. Dr. Jan Slaby


Monday, March 21, 2011
1.30 pm The Socially Extended Mind
Shaun Gallagher – Dept. of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, University of Central Florida
2.45 pm Enacted Cognition, Mental Institutions, and Socio-Functionally Extended Mind
Michele Merritt – Dept. of Philosophy, University of South Florida
3.45 pm Coffee Break
4.15 pm Interaction and the Extended Mind
Somogy Varga – Center for Subjectivity Studies, University of Copenhagen
5.15 pm Short Coffee Break
5.30 pm Extended Cognition, Moral Agency and Personal Responsibility
Mason Cash – Dept. of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, University of Central Florida

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

9.30 am How would participatory sense-making work with institutions?
Hanne de Jaegher – MCR Research Fellow, University of the Basque Country San Sebastian
10.30 am Coffee Break
11.00 am Populations of Subjects: Difference and Development in the Socially Extended Mind
John Protevi – Dept. of French Studies, Louisiana State University
12:15 pm (Socially) Extended Emotion
Jan Slaby – Cluster Languages of Emotion, Freie Universität Berlin
1:15 pm Lunch Break
2:30 pm "La Grande Peur": Sartre and the Question of Collective Emotions
Martin Hartmann – Philosophisches Seminar, Universität Luzern
3.30 pm Cognitive Sociology and the Socially Extended Mind
Christian von Scheve – Cluster Languages of Emotion, Freie Universität Berlin
4.30 pm Coffee Break
5.00 pm Final Discussion
5.45 pm End of the workshop

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