Forthcoming & Current Autumn 2016.
Research in Progress Seminar now 16:00 on Wednesdays
2nd November - Nuno Venturinha: TBA.
16th November - Robert Clowes: Agency and the Idea of Cognitive Ecology.
30th November - Rob Vinten: Problems of Free Will.
Mandevillian Intelligence: From Individual Vice to Collective Virtue presented by Paul Smart - Friday 7th October, 12.00 - 13.30
Mandevillian intelligence is a specific form of collective intelligence in which individual cognitive vices (i.e., shortcomings, limitations, constraints and biases) are seen to play a positive functional role in yielding collective forms of cognitive success. In this talk, I will introduce the concept of mandevillian intelligence and review a number of strands of empirical research that help to shed light on the phenomenon. I will also attempt to highlight the value of the concept of mandevillian intelligence from a philosophical, scientific and engineering perspective. Inasmuch as we accept the notion of mandevillian intelligence, then it seems that the cognitive and epistemic value of a specific social or technological intervention will vary according to whether our attention is focused at the individual or collective level of analysis. This has a number of important implications for how we think about the design and evaluation of collaborative technologies. For example, the notion of mandevillian intelligence forces us to take seriously the idea that the exploitation (or even the accentuation) of individual cognitive shortcomings could, in some situations, provide a productive route to collective forms of cognitive and epistemic success.
Klaus Gaertner & João Cordovil will speak on
Quasi-Particles and the Case of Experience.
Monday 19th of September 16:00, Edificio ID, Sala 3.16
Schizophrenia as a self disorder: New directions
By Professor Louis Sass, Berkeley University
11th August, 5 p.m.
ID Building, Multiusos 1
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas (UNL)
Major Conference: Minds, Selves and 21st Century Technology, featuring the work of Susan Schneider; 23rd & 24th of June.***
Some thoughts on integrating extending cognition with the metaphysics of self, Monday 20th of June.Presented by Robert Clowes, 4pm ID 0.06 (all welcome)
Rob Clowes spoke at Keble College, Oxford University in June for Creativity Cluster Workshop around the theme of Creative Evolution: Mind, biosocial plasticity and material engagement.
RIPS Seminar, Phenomenal enactive consciousness: Saliva functional protein networks as a lived body experience with Inês Hipólito & Jorge Emanuel Martins 6th June, 16:00, Room ID 1.05.
Agent-causation: Fitting agents and freedom into a natural world Monday, 16:00, 30th of May, Joana Rigato, (ID 1.05), Mind and Cognition Research Seminar (abstract).
Material Engagement and Immaterial Culture: The Internet as a cognitive artefact (Monday 23rd May, 16:00, Tower A. Room A 311 (3rd floor), Speaker Robert Clowes, RIPs Seminar (abstract).
Jorge Gonçalves, Psychiatry and Values, 24 May 2016, 11h, May 24, 2016, ArgLab Research Colloquium, Av. de Berna 26, I&D Building, ground floor, room 007
Research visit from Philip Gerrans, including workshop and lecture 14th -18th of April
Updates for June
Inês Hipólito has just published her paper Phenomenology of the Intersubjective Impairment at the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Paractice.
Klaus Gaertner is currently applying to the FCT Post-Doc Grant.
Update for April
Dina Mendonça: Presented paper with Magda Costa Cavalho on Philosophy of Children in Asturias: Reasonableness as a virtue of the philosophical community of inquiry.
Klaus Gaertner gave a talk on interdisciplinary and the cognitive sciences. Did Blog entry for intrepid European Cost Action.
Updates for 31st March
Rob Clowes spoke on Outsourcing Agency: The Limits of Taking Epistemic Possession of Technology. (11.00 am 29th of March). He has also submitted a paper on the cognitive ecology of reading. He is working on a final draft of a paper on extended memory.
Updates for 22nd February
Rob Clowes continues working on Extended Memory paper.
(more to follow)
Updates for 15th February
Rob Clowes has been working (with Inês and Klaus) on arrangements for upcoming conference on Minds, Selves and 21st Century Technology. He is working on a paper on Extended Memory, and another on radical enactivism.
Inês Hipólito is participating in the iCog Sense and Space Conference in the University of London and on the Immaterially Conference at Trinity College, Cambridge. Inês is also finishing a paper (together with Martins, Simões, and Barros) about the relation between subjective lived body and the living body of the organism via the dynamic sensorimotor activity, through molecular biology of genome-transcriptome-proteome interface.
Klaus Gertner is preparing his visit to the Research Focus Cognitive Science at the University of Potsdam. He is also working on his book proposal in Philosophy of Mind and radical enactivism
Updates from 25th January 2016
Rob Clowes is working has produced a final draft on The New Cognitive Ecology of e-Reading. With Richard Heersmink and Paul Smart he has submitted a paper on The Cognitive Ecology of the Internet. He is working on an article on Extended Memory.
Updates from 16th December
Rob Clowes is working hard on producting a final draft on The New Cognitive Ecology of e-Reading.
Dina Mendonça presented paper "Situating Moods" at Workshop The Meaning of Moods, Basel, Switzerland, December, 8-10, 2015 (organizers, Angelika Krebs and Heleen Pott) and is now writing her report on the role of Philosophical Sessions in Project 10x10 within Descobrir from Gulbenkian Foundation
Klaus Gertner went to a meeting on Horizon 2020 and prepares for his RIP talk. He is still working on REC and Revelation.
Updates from 9th December 2015
Inês Hipólito just submitted The Neural Basis of Social Epistemology and Intersubjectivity to AI & Society. And she is finishing a conference-paper The nature of delusion in the first-, third- and second-person perspective to (Ir)rationality: Understanding Irrational Belief, Action, and Reasoning (King's College, February).
Rob Clowes has been working on integrating some ideas on material engagement theory to his article on reading. He has also written part of an article on Cognitive Ecology of the Internet for a co-written article with Paul Smart and Richard Heersmink.
Klaus went to an European network workshop (INTREPID) on Interdisciplinarity in Lisbon. He is also working on how radical is REC and what a version of REC might look like.
Jorge Gonçalves has finished his readings on theories of simulation and radical empathy and returned to the paper about understanding schizophrenia.
Updates from 25th November
Rob Clowes has been working on submitting a journal version of this paper on reading and social intelligence: Reading New Media And What They Tell Us About Social Cognition. He has also been working on a CFP for a meeting on technology, mind and metaphysics for June 2016. He has been working on his yearly report for FCT about his project Virtualism and the Mind: Rethinking Presence, Representation and Self: – (SFRH/BPD/70440/2010).
Klaus Gertner is at the INTREPID European workshop on Interdisciplinarity in Lisbon on the 25th and 26th of November and working on REC/Revelation.
Dina Mendonça has been working on a paper "Situated Moods" for Workshop The Meaning of Moods, Basel, Switzerland, December, 8-10, 2015 (organizers, Angelika Krebs and Heleen Pott)
Inês Hipólito is working on her presentation Perceptual Experience and Neural Synchronicity: from brain rhythm to consciousness, to present in the The 2nd Biannual Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Group in India (12th-21st December). She is also working on my poster Mind the Brain: can mental phenomena modulate the nervous system to present in the 1º encontro de estudantes do Colégio Doutoral Mente-cérebro da Universidade de Lisboa (2nd, December).
Updates from 11th of November
Jorge Gonçalves and Inês Hipólito organised the meeting Schizophrenia and Common Sense, on 5th-6thNovember
Jorge Gonçalves also presented a talk in this Workshop "Differences between phenomenology's and philosophy of mind’s approaches to schizophrenia." He rewrote a paper in Portuguese to submit to a portuguese review (Psilogos).
Robert Clowes presented a paper at the schizoprenia workshop on Pre-Reflective Self Experience and the Extended Self. He also presented the research in progress seminar on Epistemic Agency and the Extended Mind. He is at work on the paper version.
Updates from 29th October
Inês Hipólito is at the moment visiting the Berlin School of Mind and Brain and she is also preparing her paper to be presented in the The 2nd Biannual Meeting of Philosophy of Science Group in India.
Rob Clowes gave presentations in Poland and London. He spoke at a session of the Battle of Ideas festival in London in a session entitled Man vs machine: who controls the robots? (Sunday 18th October) and at Avant meeting on Agency, Effect and Extension. He is working on a paper on the Cognitive Ecology of the Web with Paul Smart & Richard Heersmink. He is also preparing work connecting his virtual theory of self to schizophrenia for the upcoming workshop.
Klaus Gaertner is preparing to present "How Radical is REC?" (co-authered by Rob) on Tuesday the 3rd of November at 11h at the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon in a room 3.1.06 (Building C3, 1st floor, room 06). For details you can check: http://cfcul.fc.ul.pt/Seminarios/seminariopermanentefc.php
Jorge Gonçalves is preparing for the workshop on Schizophrenia and he is co-organising with Inês.
Updates for the 7th October 2015
Klaus started his new job at the Center for Philosophy of Science of the University of Lisbon. He is currently working on a paper about REC, together with Rob Clowes, and on a survey about interdisciplinarity.
Inês Hipólito gave a talk in the Oxford Conference of Philosophy and Psychiatry and participated in the British Annual Meeting of Cognitive Neuroscience. She is now preparing her visiting scholar in the Berlin School of Mind and Brain and she is writing a paper on how mental phenomena might modulate the nervous system.
Jorge Gonçalves gave recently a talk at St Petersbourgh about self and time. He is working on understanding schizophrenia and also in self and time. He is organizing a Workshop about schizophrenia and common sense.
Rob Clowes is working for on a paper to be given at the Avant meeting on Agency, Effect and Extension and a session introduction for the battle of ideas on Man vs machine: who controls the robots?.
Updates for 9th September 2015
Dina Mendonça, Jorge Gonçalves and Robert Clowes participated in the St. Petersburg on the Ontology of Subjectivity: Selves, Persons and Organisms along with colleagues from Porto, St. Petersburg University and the University of Helsinki.
Update for July 2015
Rob Clowes has been working on an article on cognitive diminishment and rethinking some arguments on the role of representation in cognitive science (in part for the July 1st discussion). He has also been working on
Jorge Gonçalves, Inês Hipólito & João Pereira organised and gave papers at the workshop Perspectivas sobre a Esquizofrenia on the 17th of July.
Member of the Group taught a summer course Teorias do Si (Theories of Self) as part of the FCSH Escola de Veraõ from the 6th to the 15th of July.
Updates for June 24th 2015
Rob Clowes is working on a new paper aimed at a special issue of the journal of phenomenology and cognitive science provisionally entitled Cognitive Diminishment and the Internet: Towards a Deeper Discussion.
João Fonseca is starting to put together a book, in Portuguese, on philosophy of science based on the under-graduate course taught a couple of years ago. The main topic is scientific realism; (he intends to follow and use the class-notes as a guide line).He hopes to finish the first draft by the end of September.
Dina Mendonça is writing a paper for submission on "Seduction and Surprise - sharing invisible emotions for commitment" for volume of CFP of collected articles.
Klaus Gaertner is thinking about Dan Hutto's hypotheses and how they affect his work.
Inês Hipólito is participating in the Multisensory Integration Summer School. She is preparing her poster to the 9th World Conference on Brain Research, Emotion as an Embodied Cognitive Marker, with the hypothesis that bodily affective mapping feedback can modulate cognition.
Updates for June 17th 2015.
Klaus Gaertner, João Fonseca, Jorge Gonçalves, Dina Mendonça, & Rob Clowes all presented work at the conference Arguing with Dan Hutto, a major workshop for 16th and 17th of June. Rob & Dina organised the conference. It was a great success and the group benefited immeasurably from the opportunity to interact with Prof. Dan Hutto at length and argue over the ideas give in his three presentations.
Robert Clowes also presented a talk at the Second Porto Workshop on Embodiment and Social Cognition on the 15th June.
Updates for June 10th 2015
All are preparing presentations for conference on the work of Dan Hutto.
Inês is finishing her presentation for multi-sensory integration summer school in University of Amsterdam. Finished revision for paper.
Jorge and Inês are preparing to organise a workshop on Schizophrenia to be held (prvisionally) on the 17th of July here at Universidad Nova.
Robert Clowes has worked on presentation for Porto.
Updates for June 3rd 2015
João Fonseca & Robert Clowes were organising European Workshop on the Cognitive, Epistemic and Ethical Dimensions of the Internet, 2nd of June, 2015, IFILNOVA Lisbon. Other members of the group actively participated in this workshop which was a huge success.The group would like to express it´s thanks to Dr. Richard Heersmink and Dr. Paul Smart for there illuminating presentations.
Thanks for the support of the ARGLAB and feralabs in organising this workshop.
Robert Clowes gave a talk on Shapers or Makers: The Implications of the Internet as Cognitive Tools.
Klaus Gaertner was writing his paper for the upcoming conference on the work of Dan Hutto.
Dina Mendonça was writing a paper on Philosophy for Children with Magda Costa Carvalho.
Alexander Gerner is preparing the workshop on the
Philosophy of Personalized Medicine
Updates for May 27th 2015 (forthcoming)
Klaus Gaertner is finishing up the submission of an abstract about inner awareness to the ENFA 6.
Rob Clowes is working on his presentation for our workshop on the Cognitive, Epistemic and Ethical Dimensions of the Internet.
João Fonseca is working on his presentation for Dan Hutto´s workshop and presentation for today.
Dina Mendonça has finished her submission emotions and ethics for ENFA 6.
Jorge Gonçalves has finished an abstract on schizophrenia for ENFA 6. Also preparing on two workshops on schizophrenia.
Updates for May 20th 2015
Klaus Gaertner is working on the question of whether or not inner awareness is essential to consciousness.
Dina Mendonça has completed her paper "Emotions and Akratic Feelings - Insights into Morality through Emotions", preparing participation in aConversation about Laughter at 'Havíamos de falar disso' on May 28th.
Rob Clowes has been working on a paper tentatively entitled Shapers or Makers: The Implications of the Internet as Cognitive Tool.
João Fonseca preparing talk for Dan Hutto visit, focus now on 'Another way of Being Radical'.
Inês Hipolito is working on paper for Synthese special issue on Neuroscience and Philosophy.
Jorge Gonçalves preparing adaptation of the paper on Understanding Schizophrenia.
Updates for May 13th 2015
Rob Clowes & João Fonseca have been programming International Workshop on the Cognitive, Epistemic and Ethical Dimensions of the Internet,
Dina Mendonça Finishing writing paper on "Emotions and Akratic Feelings - Insights into Morality through Emotions" for a book of collected essays edited by Sara Silva, entitled Morality and Emotion: (Un)conscious Journey to Being
Klaus Gaertner moved to working on inner awareness. The essentiality of essential principle is put on hold, after consulting Franck.
Jorge Gonçalves - Writing a paper on Understanding Schizophrenia.
Inês Hipolito just attended, with a Grant Prize by Boehringer Ingelheim Stiftung, the European Neuroscience Conference for Doctoral Students, where she presented Why the Brain cannot have consistency without a conscious mind? She is working on her Ph.D thesis on Neurophysiology of Cognitive Rhythms, particularly, on the relation between attentional mechanism, dynamical binding and oscillatory gamma activity in evoked potentials.
Updates for May 6th 2015
Rob Clowes presented the research meeting Hutto and Myin´s Enactivism: Setting the Scene.
Dina Mendonça and Rob Clowes´ paper Representation Redux: Is there still a useful role for representation to play in the context of embodied, dynamicist and situated theories of mind? is published online first.
João Fonseca – Preparing a presentation on Dan Hutto, dealing with how embodiment relates to respresentation.
Jorge Gonçalves – Preparing a workshop in St. Peterburg around the Metaphysics of the Self.
Klaus Gaertner - Applying for jobs, writing an article on Essentiality of Essence Principle.
Updates for April 2015
Rob Clowes attended the 1st International Conference on Extended Knowledge.
Dina Mendonça and Rob Clowes completed work on their paper Representation Redux for the journal New Ideas in Psychology.
Updates for February 2015
Rob Clowes presented a paper
Big Data, Cognitive Penetration and the Extended Mind at the conference Harder, better, faster, stronger? Philosophical investigations into Big Data , University of Porto, 25th February 2015
Updates for January 2015
Members of the group were hard at work in January to submit project proposal to the FCT call Research and Development Projects. Dina Mendonça, Jorge Gonçalves, Alexander Gerner and Rob Clowes all submitted project proposals. (Presentation around each of these proposals will be given over the following months in order to aid in future collaborative work).
Updates for December 2014
Klaus Gaertner successfully defends his PhD on the 18th December. Several other members of the group attend. Celebration ensues. (Congratulations Klaus)
Updates for November 2014
Rob Clowes presented a paper Reading, New Media Technology and what they tell us about Social Cognition at the European Conference on Social Intelligence. The paper is archived here:
Updates for October 2014
Rob Clowes presented his paper Embodiment and the Contexts of Representational Explanation at the Spindel Alternative Models of Mind Conference.
Updates for June / July (2014
Dina Mendonça is the local organiser for the inaugural conference by the European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotions http://navotnaor.wix.com/epsse#!inaugural-conference/cee5
Updates for May 2014
Klaus Gaertner presented a paper on the subject of Privileged Self-knowledge about the Phenomenal: The Problem of Acquaintance.
Updates from 16th May 2014 Research Meeting.
Dina Mendonça submitted a paper - "Meta-Emotions in Argumentation: the headscarf debate and surprise" - to 'Axiomathes' in a special issue dedicated to the International Conference “Philosophy of Science in the 21st century – Challenges and Tasks” that took place in Lisbon last december. Also, she is finishing the paper "Tuning our timing: Time distortions in cinema and emotions" - which was presented last week at the International Conference of Philosophy and Film in Lisbon http://www.philosophyfilmlisbon.net/ to submit for publication. She is preparing her application to a grant at FCT (http://www.fct.pt/apoios/contratacaodoutorados/investigador-fct/2014/index.phtml.pt)
João Fonseca is preparing his presentation to the Workshop Bodies, Persons and Selves with the working title: "What is a self? Some relativistic and pluralist criteria for the identification of selves".
Rob Clowes' paper Thinking in the Cloud: The Cognitive Incorporation of Cloud-Based Technology has been published online first for the journal Philosophy and Technology. He has also been working on a paper to be presented for the workshop Bodies, Persons and Selves next month and has also submitted an abstract for IFILNOVA workshop Comunicação da Ciência.
Jorge Gonçalves and Inês Hipólito have been working on the organization of the Bodies, Persons and Selves conference.
Updates from 2nd May 2014 Research Meeting.
Vera Pereira is preparing a 3 hour class about the history and current developments in Evolutionary Psychology to be presented at the 13th of May to students of Psychology at the Catholic University of Lisbon. She was invited by Prof. Rita Francisco.
She is also preparing a comunication about Sarsaw project first results to present at IFILNOVA at the 16th of May, as a session of the permanent seminar of the project Cognitive Foundations of the Self.
Klaus Gaertner is working on his phD thesis, trying to make sense of the essence claim of the revelation thesis, discussing different options.
Rob Clowes has been working on a chapter of his monograph on reading as cognitive technology. He has also continued work on his article on schizophrenia and the minimal self.
João Fonseca is currently finishing a paper to submit to 'Axiomathes' in a special number dedicated to the International Conference “Philosophy of Science in the 21st century – Challenges and Tasks” that took place in Lisbon last december. The working title of the paper is Realism, Mental-Causation and Emergence: a Case Study in Current Neuroscience of Fear Conditioning.
Inês Hipólito is working on a paper about Mental Image and Perception to submit to the 37th International Wittgenstein Symposium 2014; a paper about Mirror Neurons as the basis of Aristotle’s φαντασία e φάντασμα for her PhD Neuroscience seminar. And she is preparing her presentation ”Biologia da Percepção: Perda de Evidência de Si na Esquizofrenia”.
The Lisbon Mind and Cognition Group is a research group which developed from the Cognitive Foundations of Self project based at the IFILNova Institute at the New University of Lisbon and is has recently been made part of the ArgLab. It
The group exists in order to examine and develop research around themes in the philosophy of cognitive science and some nearby fields such as phenomenology, philosophy of mind and philosophy of technology. We have a special interest in 4E (Embodied, Extended, Enactive & Embedded) approaches to mind.
Progressive Uploading: Super-selves and alternative routes to personal immortality?There are problems with the idea of uploading, not least that the model of human beings (or selves, or persons) as computer programmes is a deeply problematic one. Indeed, it may not be possible to upload human beings in anything like the standard sense (Corabi & Schneider, 2014).
And yet, some scrutiny of certain contemporary mass uses of technology indicates we may already be involved in a different (potentially non-destructive) form of uploading. This is the growing tendency for those in the technologically developed world to store ever more personal information and about their lives as digital memory traces or lifelogs. Moreover these traces are already used not just a passive record but to regulate their ongoing cognitive and emotional lives (Clowes, 2015).
Extending our minds (and sense of self) into the Internet does not leave us quite as we were (Clowes, 2012). Such technologies do not provide merely a neutral record of one’s activities but can be viewed themselves as cognitive enhancements (or diminishments) that already have important implications for questions of self and personal identity (Clowes, 2013). Even, such gradual or progressive uploading may have important cognitive consequences.
Some researchers are currently pushing this tendency to its limits. Gordon Bell and his associates for example have attempted to use technologies such as the SenseCam to make a ‘total’ record of the everyday life of individuals (Bell & Gemmell, 2009). Bell has suggested that this information might be used by future artificial intelligence technology to create a version of himself that might communicate with his descendants. I will attempt to assess some of the implications for how we should assess the metaphysical status of such future ‘slow uploads’ particularly paying attention to how human beings already have deeply hybrid minds (Clark, 2003)
Bell, C., & Gemmell, J. (2009). Total recall: how the E-memory revolution will change everything: Dutton.
Clark, A. (2003). Natural Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies and the Future of Human Intelligence. New York: Oxford University Press.
Clowes, R. W. (2012). Hybrid Memory, Cognitive Technology and Self. In Y. Erdin & M. Bishop (Eds.), Proceedings of AISB/IACAP World Congress 2012.
Clowes, R. W. (2013). The cognitive integration of E-memory. Review of Philosophy and Psychology(4), 107-133.
Clowes, R. W. (2015). Thinking in the cloud: The Cognitive Incorporation of Cloud-Based Technology. Philosophy and Technology, 28, Issue 2,(2), 261-296.
Corabi, J., & Schneider, S. (2014). If You Upload, Will You Survive? Intelligence Unbound: Future of Uploaded and Machine Minds, The, 131-145.
Saliva functional protein networks as a lived body experience with Inês Hipólito & Jorge Emanuel Martins 6th June, 16:00, Room ID 1.05.
“…there is no whole system without an interconnection of its parts and
there is no whole system without an environment.”
−Francisco Varela (1977)
The bodily self is an enactive phenomenon that is about the organ and the being, the individual and the environment, the species and life. Scientific progress has helped to clarify how the subjective qualities relate to the intentionality of mental states and physiological properties; however, these issues are far from being resolved. One of the questions that still remains is how is it possible to investigate consciousness without fully assuming physicalism? The following hypothesis are taken into account: (1) neurophenomenological approach to the hard problem should not reduce the rich subjective experience of consciousness in brain neural correlates, but rather, take as a major concern, the lived body experience; (2) the lowest level of all, the basic process of metabolism, protein expression and movement, contains already the germ of the highest level of all: reflective consciousness as investigated in phenomenology. Therefore, it is here postulated an exploration of (1) a phenomenological account of the most basic level of consciousness (autopoiesis) and (2) a significant explanation regarding the minimal biological requirements for an intransitive self-consciousness and subjectivity? It is known that brain activity plays a crucial role in life-regulation processes of the whole organism. However, the minimal biological substrate of phenomenal subjectivity seems to be much more than particular brain regions or areas, or even the brain alone. Some crucial subset of autonomous and interactive brain-body systems, possibly the genome-transcriptome- proteome interface, suggested by a phenome/proteome design approach, the key-role played by the whole organism, and, thus, a non- reductionist perspective. An account is given of how the subjectively lived body and the living body of the organism are related via the dynamic sensorimotor activity, through protein expression, and it is shown how this account would help to bridge the explanatory gap between consciousness and the brain. We would conclude that the living organism is not so much a “thing”, but rather a flow with the particular property of continuously and indefinitely engendering itself biomolecularly.
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Spring 2016 - Research in Progress Seminars
Meeting are from 16:00 to 17:00 and are public, all welcome.
11th of Jan, Jorge Gonçalves on Empathy and altered states of consciousness.
25th of Jan, Robert Clowes on The Philosophy of Extended Memory.
15th of Feb, Teresa Pedro: Perception of Time: A discussion of postdictive phenomena.
22nd of Feb. Mariaflavia Cascelli: Pre-reflective self-consciousness and the phenomenology of agency
14th of March. Dina Mendonça, Insight from Emotional Depth.
29th of March, Luca Baptista: The Arts of Memory
4th of April. Jamie Buckland: Practical Reasons and the Extended Mind Hypothesis.
18th of April. Seminar as part of special visit from Philip Gerrans (details to follow)
Before each research meeting we have a private publication workshop for group members only. This is held between 15:00 - 16:00. If you think your research connects with ours and you would like to join the group please contact Rob Clowes.
Creativity and the Art of Memory (29th of March, 16.00 - 17.00)
Presented by Luca Baptista, Room 2.17, ID Building
It might seem that memorization and creativity are at opposite ends, but actually the traditional art of memory emphasized the creation of striking images to be put in a fixed and ordered structure of places (loci) to facilitate recall. Those images should not be static, but rather imagines agentes - more like scenes taking place in each of the loci. The unusual, disgusting, beautiful, or amusing character of the scenes would make them stand out not only cognitively, but also emotionally and aesthetically.
The point of the art of memory was not simply recall, but the creation of retrieval systems for ideas, concepts, etc. These retrieval systems could, in turn, be used to aid the composition of new material (be it arguments or even whole philosophical treatises, as Frances Yates and Mary Carruthers argue was the case with Thomas Aquinas). So we have a link between mnemonics, imagination and creativity, operating in two steps. First, creative imagination was to be disciplined in the service of memorization - as 'memory master' Rob Cooke said recently in a conference promoted by Wired magazine, the art of memory is a 'technology of imagination'. Second, new material could be created resorting to the retrieved imagines agentes. Here we have memorization in the service of creativity (this is not a circle; it's more like a positive feedback loop).
But most importantly, it can be more than that. The technology of imagination would involve what Margaret Boden calls 'p-creativity' (psychological) but in certain cases it could help leading to 'h-creativity' (historical), as in the example of Aquinas mentioned above. In fact, this might also be at work in art. In The Art of Memory, Frances Yates speculates that Giotto's paintings of the virtues and vices might have been inspired by stock images/scenes recommended in mnemonic treatises. And in The Gallery of Memory, Lina Bolzoni discusses at length the relationships between medieval and Renaissance iconography and mnemonics. My project is inspired by a quote from Yates: 'The art of memory was a creator of imagery which must surely have flowed out into creative works of art and literature'.