CHIAS III: Interactivity, Cognition and the Embrained

Keynote Speakers: Tony Chemero and Michael J. Anderson 



Today, no-one disputes that the embrained body plays a crucial role, not just in action and perception, but also in the so-called higher cognitive functions. Action and perception can thus be traced to human interactivity, a term introduced to the community by David Kirsh who used it in the paradigm of Human Computer Interaction. Since then, it has been shown to be crucial, not only to problem-solving, but also to face-to-face language activity. In this setting, interactivity is redefined as “sense-saturated coordination that contributes to human action.” Taking a starting point in interactivity and the sensesaturated nature of human coordination obliges one to look beyond the situated body. One needs to rethink the brain’s role in how organization, sociality, and language transforms the (extended) human ecology.



In radical embodied cognitive science, one accords no explanatory role to representations. On this view, the embrained body and interactivity are central to any definition of cognition. The problems to be addressed are thus: (1) what else, if anything, is required to understand complex, adaptive and social human behaviour? (2) What does this view imply for the definition and investigation of the embrained body’s contribution to interactivity?



The symposium is co-organised with the organisers of the British Distributed Thinking Symposia (DTS). Hence, CHIAS III is also DTS VII – the first DTS symposium to take place outside the UK.

Discussions at CHIAS III/DTS VII will target two papers written by the invited speakers:

Beyond the two target speakers, another 10-12 leading scholars on interactivity, cognition and language will present their research while drawing on the target papers. Further, since the aim is to open up conversations, we invite scholars to offer conversation pieces. These will take the form of posters that will be used in plenary discussion of how brains, bodies, and environment become interconnected through interactivity.


The keynotespeakers are Tony Chemero (Professor of Philosophy and Psychology, the Center for Cognition, Action, and Perception at the University of Cincinnati) and Michael J. Anderson (Associate Professor of Cognitive Science in the Department of Psychology at Franklin & Marshall College and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland). Tony is arguably the world’s leading proponent of a radical embodied cognitive science and Mike has presented one of the most groundbreaking neuro-scientific theses in recent years, that of neural reuse.

Futhermore the following speakers will enlighten us:

-       Chris Baber

-       Mark Bishop

-       Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau

-       Stephen J. Cowley and Davide Secchi

-       Charles Lassiter

-       Erin Beatty

-       Sabrina Golonka and Andrew Wilson

-       Jasper van den Herik

-       Katherine Hrisonopulo

-       Paul March

-       Slawek Nasuto

-       Susan Samata


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