SOPhiA 2017

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

The radical enactive cognition approach to Phenomenality
(Philosophy of Mind, English)

In spite of all advances that Cognitive Science has developed throughout recent years, some issues are still puzzling, to say the least. One of them is the phenomenality of our conscious experiences, that is, why do our conscious experiences have the subjective quality they do. How to account for it in a purely natural basis is a problem that has engaged an enormous amount of time and debates and still, no solution to it has been acknowledged. Recently, Enactivist approaches have been emphasizing that, maybe, one of the reasons why there is no solution to the problem of consciousness is because of the mistaken presuppositions that have guided scientific and philosophical research on the topic. Enactivists claim that, by considering experience as an activity performed by a subject in her historical and biological context will be helpful to a better understanding of the issues involves. That is a reasonable bet, however, it is nevertheless puzzling how the explanatory gap can be bridged by considering experiences as situated activity. So, this idea still has to be worked out. The Radical Enactive Cognition approach (REC) offers some interesting insights to the discussion. REC claims that even some of the more committed enactivists still fail to fully recognize the consequences of a purely naturalistic approach and that precludes an adequate account for consciousness. In a nutshell, REC claims that even if phenomenal consciousness is constituted only by physical events, this narrow approach falls short of explaining it adequately and, so, the explanation of it needs to take the historical, contextual and biological aspects into account. This paper aims to describe the radical enactivist account for consciousness and assess its advantages.

Chair: Alexander Gebharter
Time: 11:15-11:45, 14 September 2017 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.004
Remark: CHANGE. The talk is cancelled!

Laura Machado do Nascimento 
(State University of Campinas, Belgium)

Laura Machado do Nascimento is a PhD student at State University of Campinas (UNICAMP - Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil) under the supervision of prof. Marco Ruffino. The theme of her PhD research are enactivist approaches to cognition. More specifically, the research is focused in the enactivist accounts to the phenomenality of conscious experience. As a part of her research grant funded by FAPESP (Sao Paulo Research Foundation) she is currently at University of Antwerp (Belgium), as a Visiting Research Student, under the supervision of Prof. Erik Myin, where Laura is working on the Radical Enactive Cognition approach, advanced by Daniel Hutto and Erik Myin in recent books (Radicalizing Enactivism - 2013, and Evolving Enactivism - forthcoming). Laura has been working on themes from analytic philosophy since her undergraduation, having background on the Quinean naturalization of Epistemology from research in undergraduation and Philosophy of Science and Perception from her master's degree. Also, she has studied problems of the Fregean tradition in Philosophy of Language by working with prof. Marco Ruffino. More recently, she has also developed an academic interest in the intersection of Analytic Philosophy and Phenomenology, in order to achieve a better understanding of the embodied aspects of experience.

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