CHIAS II in March

CHIAS II pursues how interactivity and, by extension, language are grounded in coordination by living, embrained bodies. Alain Berthoz and Didier Bottineau introduce the theme with a paper entitled “Human speech and natural languages as simplex systems of embodied coordination and interactivity.”

The paper of Berthoz and Bottineua traces language to a set of solutions that living organisms use to deal with information and situations. They do so while drawing on past experiences and anticipating future ones. Nature uses a repertoire of tricks that sustain and produce cells, brains, behaviour and, it is suggested, the multi-scalar complexity of language. Simplexity appears in, among other guises: (a) inhibition; (b) the detour principle; and (c) action-perception geared information.

The symposium addresses both how linguistic symbols can co-function with metabolism and, conversely, how neurophysiological activity uses linguistic patterns to influence coordinated perception/action (or percaction). Using the work of Berthoz and Bottineau, speakers will take different views on multiscalar activity that arises when cultural and neural systems come to influence human (and non-human) modes of life. Since CHIAS aims at discussion, speakers will relate simplexity and language to a biology that is able to connect up neurophysiology, language-in-action and the extended ecology.  Broadly, far from focusing on the manipulation of verbal patterns, language becomes an odd kind of action-perception that arises as human bodies are coordinated by living beings who draw on a range of affective, institutional, cultural and semiotic constraints.

CHIAS II further information

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