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Mechanistic Integration and Unification in Cognitive Science

cognitive_webWarsaw, June 23-26, 2016

The aim of the workshop is to discuss the recent work on mechanistic explanation, with special stress on particular problems of integration of multiple mechanistic models, robustness, and unification of partial explanations, theories and fields.

There is a growing consensus that cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience explain their phenomena of interest mechanistically. Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary research field, in which methods, tools, and concepts from other disciplines are used. One can ask a fundamental question whether anything unifies the field; or whether it is not just a hodgepodge of heterogeneous research. This kind of doubt can be articulated with regard to any interdisciplinary research field. However, the existence of interdisciplinary collaboration means that there are real connections between disciplines and that their problems are related. But to really dispel the doubt against interdisciplinary research, one needs to answer the question of what makes such conglomerates as cognitive science actually unified.

Invited Keynote Speakers

William Bechtel (California, San Diego)

Carl F. Craver (Washington University in St. Louis)

David Kaplan (Macquarie)


To register, click here.

More info

The workshop is organized by Marcin Miłkowski and Mateusz Hohol, and financed from National Science Center grant under the decision DEC-2014/14/E/HS1/00803, with support from Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, and Center for Philosophical Research, Warsaw.

Preliminary schedule

Saturday, November 7th

1:00 pm           Bus leaves Warsaw airport

4:30 pm                      Bus arrives at workshop hotel in Kazimierz Dolny

6:30 pm           Dinner at hotel


Sunday, November 8th

8 am                Breakfast for all staying at the hotel

9:30                 Key Speaker Ellen Dissanayake, Evolution and the Arts

11:00 am         Coffee break for all workshop participants

11:30 am         Jerzy Luty – Ellen Dissanayake’s ethological approach to art and its critics

12:10 pm         John Collier – Disputes over the evolutionary origins of music and dance

12:50 pm         Piotr Podlipniak – Tonal qualia and the evolution of music

1:30 pm           Lunch for all workshop participants

2:30 pm           Eveline Seghers and Stefaan Blancke – Metacognition and the origins of art

3:10 pm           Marcin Miłkowski – Brain on Art Meets Honest Signals

3:50 pm           TBA

4:30 pm           End of sessions


Monday, November 9th

8 am                Breakfast for all staying at the hotel

9:30 am           Key Speaker Piotr Przybysz – Aesthetic Emotions: Toward a Temporal Dynamics Model of Emotional Processing of Art Stimuli

11:00 am         Coffee break for all workshop participants

11:30 am         Mateusz Migut – Need for functional psychology of music – conceptual struggles with empirical investigation of functions of music

12:10 pm         Alejandra Wah – Processes underlying the artistic experience

12:50 pm         Larissa Mendoza Straffon – The Aesthetic Experience as Social Emotion: Towards an Affective Art History

1:30 pm           Lunch for all workshop participants

2:30 pm           Guided tour of Kazimierz Dolny

4:30 pm           End of tour


Tuesday, November 10th

8 am                Breakfast for all staying at the hotel

9:30 am           Key Speaker Ellen Dissanayake – From Ritualization to Ritual and its Arts: Sources of Upper Pleistocene Ritual Practices in Ritualized and Play Behaviours in Ancestral Hominins

11:00 am         Coffee break for all workshop participants

11:30 am         Jakub Matyja – From brains to bodies: recomposing musical simulations

12:10 pm         Witold Wachowski – Contradictory acoustic affordances

12:50 pm         Mateusz Hohol – TBA

1:30 pm           Lunch for all workshop participants

2:30 pm           Piotr Kozak – Art, Formalism, and the Limits of Naturalism

3:10 pm           TBA

3:50 pm           TBA

4:30 pm           End of sessions

6:30 pm           Workshop dinner at restaurant in town (cost not covered by fees)


Wednesday, November 11th

8 am                Breakfast for all staying at the hotel

9 am                Round-table discussion of workshop theme

11:30 am         Bus leaves hotel

2:30 pm           Bus arrives at Warsaw airport

Dwie nowe publikacje Biblioteki OBF

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Nakładem OBF, przy finansowym wsparciu Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego, ukazały się dwie pozycje książkowe:

Obie dostępne są do pobrania, zapraszamy do lektury!

Placing Art and Music in Nature: KNEW 2015


Kazimierz Dolny, Poland – November, 7th to 11th, 2015 August,  10th to 14th, 2015

Recent scientific research concerning art and music has thrown up a plethora of new aspects to be integrated into our understanding of these phenomena. Individual studies, such as attempts to explain aesthetic responses in terms of some aspect of human neurology, have at times been deemed reductionist. Quite apart from such ‘accusations’ often being wholehearted accepted by researchers, the overall picture of art that science is revealing is anything from simplistic. Instead, research coming out of a variety of disciplines is presenting philosophy with ever new challenges if it is to provide anything like an integrated understanding of art and music. Thus, among others, ecological approaches provide a novel perspective upon meaning in music, embodied approaches explore the role of the specific played by the body in experiencing music and evolutionary approaches examine the significance of human evolutionary history for art and music. Far from being simplified, the view that tended to focus upon cultural factors has been enriched by consideration of cognitive and evolutionary factors as well as novel tools and ways of thinking about the interplay between art and music and the broader cultures in which they exist. In effect, it is philosophy that is forced to extend its perspective in order to seek a synthesis that reflects the new research. In our workshop we will seek to further this process by engaging philosophers and scientists in a dialogue concerning the multifaceted place that art and music hold in nature.

Invited Key-speakers

Ian Cross (University of Cambridge)

Ellen Dissanayake (University of Washington) 

Piotr Przybysz (Adam Mickiewicz University)

Sample Questions

  • To what extent recent neuroscientific findings explain the nature of our interactions with art and music?
  • How can we relate empirical data from empirical musicology to evolutionary theories of music?
  • What is the role of computational modelling of music cognition in our understanding of music (in evolutionary context)?
  • To what degree can current neuroaesthetics explain the meaning of art and aesthetic pleasure?
  • In what ways current naturalistic philosophy of science can inform recent debates on art and music?

Call for Papers

300 word abstracts are invited no later than August, 30th (extended deadline). Accepted speakers will have 40 minutes for their presentations, including discussion time. Preference will be given to presentations directly connected to the work carried out by the key speakers. Abstracts are to be submitted via EasyChair.

Registration and accommodation

Applications will be accepted till September, 10th, with late applications being accepted till October, 15th. Early registration fee is 150 Euro (reduced rate – 75 Euro), while late registration fee is 200 Euro. Fees are payable upon acceptance of application. They cover the workshop sessions, conference materials, lunches, coffee breaks and the minibus to and from Warsaw. Accommodation is available at the hotel at which the workshop will take place (or a hotel nearby) and costs an additional 100 Euro in total for the whole workshop (including breakfasts) in twin en-suite rooms (limited single rooms available at higher price). Availability of accommodation cannot be guaranteed for late registrants.

KNEW’15 is being organised by Marcin Miłkowski (PAN, CPR), Konrad Talmont-Kaminski (UF&M, CPR) and Jakub Ryszard Matyja (PAN, CPR) with the financial assistance from the Centre for Philosophical Research.



Situating Cognition: Agency, Affect, and Extension

The focus of this conference is on cognition in the context of agency, affect, and its extensions. The event includes lectures, symposia, workshops, discussions, and posters covering a broad range of topics related to the theme of the second edition of Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Discussions regarding the limits and the nature of that what we call cognition have been going on for a long time. These discussions include, among others, debates over the role of the body, the bounds of the mind, the contribution of the environment (from the physical and biological level to the social and cultural level), the collective nature of cognition and minds, including linguistic coordination, but also the role of affects and our agency in cognitive processes. In these contexts, there also appears the problem of relations between cognitive science and action science, psychology of emotions, linguistics, and social sciences, as well as philosophy, especially epistemology.

During our conference, we would like to tackle the following issues:
(a) main theoretical challenges regarding the concept of embodied cognition;
(b) bodily representations: whether and in what way they exist, and how they can be studied;
(c) the possibilities of researching the products of our agency as evidence of human cognitive abilities;
(d) the role of affective processes in cognition, or even conceptualizing these processes as cognitive ones;
(e) the connections between action and perception;
(f) cognitive research on language and gesture;
(g) framing cognitive systems as social systems; the issue of the existence of group / collective minds;
(h) the role of broadly understood environment and artifacts in cognitive processes;
(i) as well as the most basic questions regarding the nature of cognition, and the role of the categories of cognition and behavior in cognitive explanations.

Forms of participation in the conference:
1) lecture
2) paper related to one of the conference symposia
3) poster
4) participation in workshops and discussions

The conference symposia will be focused on the selected topics related to that of the main theme.

The following symposia are planned:
* Perception-action coupling
* Troubles with embodied cognition theories
* Situatedness and models of mechanisms
* Affected cognition
* Social cognition

Key speakers

Kenneth Aizawa (Rutgers University)
Mark H. Bickhard (Lehigh University)
Giovanna Colombetti (University of Exeter)
Shaun Gallagher (University of Memphis)
Marcin Miłkowski (Polish Academy of Sciences)
Frederique de Vignemont (Institut Jean-Nicod)
Andrew Wilson & Sabrina Golonka (Leeds Beckett University)
and others

Important dates

Abstract submission: August, 15th, 2015
Acceptance notification: August, 18th, 2015
Conference: October 15-18th, 2015, Warsaw, Poland

For more information, see the event website.

Avant 2 / 2014

Okładka One of the most common questions in today’s cognitive studies is the one regarding embodied cognition. The answer to this question draws our attention to many factors, including bodily actions, which also work to embody cognition. With this in mind, enactivism is included in discussions of embodiment. Some authors are comparing cognition to a handshake and dancing. Enactivism equates cognition with action, focusing on its very performance.
The present issue consists mainly of ten articles that are ten standpoints on enactivism: not only from the point of view of the critics (K. Aizawa, P. Steiner, F. Cummins, K. Bielecka) and the proponents (S. Gallagher & M. Brower, R. Ellis, Q. Li & I. Winchester), but also spokespeople for the moderate approach (D. Reid, R. Briscoe, J.L. Petit). The abovementioned papers are significantly complemented by two interviews: one with S. Gallagher, and the other with R. Rupert, as well as by two book reviews by P. Grosse and Ch. Drain; they are able to direct the attention towards more broadly conceived issues connected with situating cognitive processes.

“Enactivism: Arguments & Applications”. AVANT, Volume V, Issue 2/2014. ISSN: 2082-6710. Editors of the Issue: Tomasz Komendziński, Przemysław Nowakowski, Witold Wachowski.

Talks from KNEW 2014

Cristine Legare – Ontogeny of cultural learning

Yuichi Amitani – Species without definitions: Applying psychology to resolve the species problem

John Collier – The strange case of female hormone replacement therapy and cognitive salience

Corinne L. Bloch-Mullins – Concepts as tools of discovery

Miles MacLeod and Nancy Nersessian – Cognitive constraints, complexity and model-building

Matteo Colombo and Rogier De Langhe – Bayesian cognitive science, inference to the best explanatory framework, and the value of specialization

Mark Addis, Fernand Gobet, Peter C. R. Lane and Peter Sozou – Computational scientific discovery and cognitive science theories

Paul Thagard – How scientific creativity results from three brain mechanisms

Piotr Giza – Automated discovery systems and the inductivist controversy

Witold Hensel – On Thagard’s argument for the approximate truth of deepened scientific theories

Krystyna Bielecka – Ludwik Fleck’s account of science and the cognitive science of science

Hugo Mercier – The argumentative theory of reasoning and scientific progress

Renne Pesonen – Intuitive rationality and cognitive expertise

Maarten Boudry and Stefaan Blancke – The epidemiology of pseudoscience

Konrad Talmont-Kaminski – Epistemic vigilance in scientific and religious cognition

Lucas Afeltowicz and Radosław Sojek– Machines, duels and a beauty contest: Cognitive synergy of ‘Aristocratic’ and ‘Craftsmanship’ styles

Adam Toon – Reason, relativism and situated cognition

Additionally, in The Reasoner 8 (10), you can find a report from the workshop.

Polemika wokół książki Krzysztofa Posłajki

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Okładka PF-LW najnowszym numerze Przeglądu Filozoficznego-Literackiego (2 (39) /2014) Marcin Miłkowski polemizuje z Krzysztofem Posłajką na temat jego książki opublikowanej przez Bibliotekę OBF. Autor nie pozostaje dłużny i odpowiada na krytyczne uwagi.

Regulamin sprzedaży (udziału w konferencjach)

1. Warunkiem aktywnego uczestnictwa w konferencjach organizowanych przez Ośrodek Badań Filozoficznych z siedzibą w Warszawie, ul. Stawki 3/20, 00-193 Warszawa jest uiszczenie opłaty konferencyjnej w terminie wskazanym w ogłoszeniu konferencji. Referaty są akceptowane przez organizatorów zgodnie z zasadami rzetelności naukowej.

2. Odpowiedzialność za reklamacje i zwroty bierze Ośrodek Badań Filozoficznych. Adres kontaktowy OBF, numer konta, NIP, REGON i nr KRS dostępne są tutaj.

3. Zwrot wpłaconej opłaty możliwy jest w 100% tylko do 14 dni przed terminem konferencji. Od 13 do 7 dni przed terminem konferencji zwracane jest tylko 50% kosztów, po tym terminie żaden zwrot nie jest możliwy. Zwrot następuje na pisemną prośbę uczestnika konferencji, przekazaną za pomocą poczty elektronicznej (lub formularz na stronie internetowej) na adres kontaktowy organizatorów konferencji. Adresy kontaktowe dostępne są na tej stronie.

4. Reklamacje można składać pisemnie za pomocą poczty elektronicznej (lub formularz na stronie internetowej) na adres kontaktowy organizatorów konferencji. Adresy kontaktowe dostępne są na tej stronie.

5. Rozliczenia transakcji kartą kredytową i e-przelewem przeprowadzane są za pośrednictwem Centrum Rozliczeniowego Dotpay. Image


Avant 1/2014

Avant12014.jpg Trzon najnowszego „Avantu” (pod red. P. Nowakowskiego i W. Wachowskiego) stanowią przekłady czterech prac z zakresu kognitywistyki – dotyczą one: teorii poznania ucieleśnionego (A.D. Wilson i S. Golonka), enaktywizmu (F. de Vignemont), teorii poznania rozproszonego (D. Kirsh) i zastosowań Gibsonowskiej teorii afordancji w projektowaniu robotów (T.E. Horton, A. Chakraborty i R. St. Amant). W numerze znajdziemy również artykuł M. Dombrowskiego poświęcony Witkacowskiej metafizyce cielesności, analizę instalacji Wielka szyba Duchampa (artykuł M. Włudzik) oraz komentarz Ł. Jędrzejczaka do eseju T. Metzingera na temat relacji między duchowością, religią i uczciwością intelektualną. Ponadto – recenzje dwóch książek: Radicalizing Enactivism Daniela Hutto i Erika Myina oraz Mindvaults Radu Bogdana.

Kawiarnia Filozoficzna – Co to znaczy działać razem? O możliwości grupowego sprawstwa

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logo_fn_male.gifZapraszamy na marcowe spotkanie Kawiarni Filozoficznej Festiwalu Nauki. Spotkanie odbędzie się 27 marca (czwartek) o godzinie 18.00 w Księgarni Tarabuk, ul. Browarna 6, Warszawa. Naszym gościem będzie mgr Adam Tuszyński (UW), który opowie o wspólnym działaniu.

Pytanie, co kryje się za sformułowaniem „działać razem”, jest jednym z fundamentalnych pytań filozofii działania. Co odróżnia działania dwojga ludzi, którzy – przez przypadek – idą koło siebie zatłoczoną ulicą, od działań dwojga ludzi, którzy wybrali się razem na spacer? Innymi słowy, gdzie przebiega granica między zbiorem indywidualnych działań pewnej grupy podmiotów a autentycznym wspólnym działaniem? Zagadnienie to już od drugiej połowy XX wieku stanowi przedmiot żywej dyskusji zarówno w filozofii, jak i w nauce.

Podczas naszego spotkania podejmiemy się rekonstrukcji współczesnych stanowisk filozoficznych, które próbują mierzyć się z problemem wspólnego działania. Postaramy się odpowiedzieć na pytanie, czy rzeczywiście, jak twierdzą m. in. Christian List i Philip Pettit, niektóre grupy, przy zaistnieniu odpowiednich warunków, można traktować jako pełnoprawnych, posiadających własny umysł racjonalnych sprawców. Co miałoby to właściwie znaczyć?

Wide cognition and social intelligence

sintelnet logo  

Kazimierz Dolny, Poland – August 19th to 23rd, 2013



Invited key-speakers

Steve Butterfill (Warwick)

Joel Krueger (Durham / Exeter)

Miriam Kyselo (San Sebastian)

Tad Zawidzki (George Washington)

Call for papers

The theme of the workshop is the significance of wide cognition – which is embodied, enacted, extended, embodied, and distributed cognition – for social intelligence.

Wide cognition has, over the last couple of decades, become more and more widespread in all areas of cognitive science – from neuroscience to cognitive psychology to cognitive linguistics to philosophy to computer science and robotics. Unlike traditional frameworks for cognitive science, these approaches do not explain cognitive phenomena solely in terms of the manipulation of (language-like) internal representations but stress that (1) minds can extend into the environment; (2) agents are cognitive insofar as they are embodied; (3) their cognitive scaffolding is enacted, or constructed, in an active fashion; (4) cognitive phenomena are always interactions with the environment; (5) and cognitive acts are often paradigmatically distributed among multiple agents. The workshop’s aim is to explore the relevance of this body of research for understanding social intelligence. In particular, its reliance on environmental design, bodily interaction, shared cognitive and symbolic tools, and complex schemas of collaboration.

The workshop will also feature discussion of a white paper of the topic  that is being prepared in collaboration with the SINTELNET coordination network (


The workshop is supported by a grant from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.


Abstracts of less than 500 words will be accepted till June, 15th. All submissions should be made through the easychair website. Abstracts will be evaluated on a first come basis so early submission is strongly encouraged in order to avoid missing out on available spots.

Registration and accommodation

Early registration ends June 30th. The early registration fee is 150 Euro (reduced rate – 75 Euro), while the late registration fee is 200 Euro. Fees cover the workshop sessions, conference materials, lunches, coffee breaks and the minibus to and from Warsaw airport.

Accommodation is available at the conference hotel. The cost is 100 Euro in total for four nights (August 19th to 23rd) in shared twin en suite rooms and includes breakfasts (limited single rooms available at higher price). Availability of accommodation cannot be guaranteed for late registrants.

Registration and accommodation fees might change in the event of significant movement in the exchange rate of the Polish currency.