Explaining Social Cognition

Between Embodied and Traditional Approaches


Embodied Cognition (EC) is an approach in cognitive science that distinguishes itself from more traditional approaches (such as the computational view on cognition) by both a set of commitments on what cognition is and a set of ideas on how it should be studied and what kind of explanations of cognition are acceptable. While pluralism in science can be beneficial, the breadth and depth of the differences between embodied and non-embodied approaches results in two distinct bodies of research that cannot be easily compared and evaluated side by side. Being still a minority view, the losing side of such a situation is EC.

In this workshop, we focus on the different explanatory methodologies in cognitive science specifically in relation to explaining social cognition. We will examine different ways of conceptualizing the explanatory target phenomena in the social domain and different ways of framing explanations thereof, such as the focus on the social experience, the autonomy of the supra-personal level of explanation or the interdependence between social activity and the embedding of cognitive systems in their shared physical environment.


09:30 - 10:00 Katja Abramova, Welcome and Intro


10:00 - 11:15 Erik Rietveld & Julian Kiverstein; Skilled We-Intentionality: Joint action without shared intentions and goals

Abstract Slides

11:15 - 11:30 Coffee & tea break

11:30 - 13:00 Tom Froese; New evidence of the interactive basis of direct social perception

Abstract Slides

13:00 - 14:00 Lunch

14:00 - 14:45 Bart Geurts; Evolutionary pragmatics

Abstract Slides

14:45 - 15:30 Fred Hasselman; Radical Embodied Computation: Reproduction of Similarity by Analogy as an Order Generating Mechanism in Complex Systems

Abstract Slides

15:30 - 16:15 Mark Blokpoel; Ambiguity helps: How unaligned pragmatic communicators can understand each other

Abstract Slides

16:15 - 16:30 Break

16:30 - 17:00 General discussion

Time and Location

When: 21 May (Tuesday) 2019, 09:30 - 17:00

Where: Grotiusgebouw at Montessorilaan 10, Nijmegen, Room GR 1.143

How to register: send an email to e.abramova@ftr.ru.nl