Philosophy and Mathematics of Situated Agency (PaMoSA 2023) brings together world-leading researchers in cognitive science, philosophy of mind, mathematics of cognition, and robotics. Recent advances in computational neuroscience, enactivist cognition and artificial intelligence enable - and also necessitate - new ways of thinking of perception and cognitive agents within their environment. This conference focuses on the embeddedness of the mind, exploring the role of context and the structure of affording situations. It offers a platform for conversation around these themes, across traditional disciplinary boundaries.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Aims of the Conference
Philosophy and Mathematics of Situated Agency brings together world-leading researchers in cognitive science, philosophy of mind, and mathematics of logic and cognition. Recent advances in computational neuroscience, enactivist theory of cognition and AI enable and necessitate new ways of thinking about perception and cognitive agents within their environment. This conference strikes at the heart of the issue across disciplinary boundaries. Although classical cognitivism has a mathematical foundation, enactivism so far does not. Enactivists refer to basic notions such as situatedness and attunement, but the conceptual foundations of these concepts remain unclear. The aim of this conference is to take steps towards understanding what being embedded, situatedness and context-sensitivity mean.
The conference's anchor point is the currently emerging understanding of the mind advanced by the 4E (enactive, embodied, embedded, extended mind) paradigm. In this revolution in contemporary cognitive science and philosophy, perception is seen as an active sensorimotor process in which perceptual reality is not “transmitted from the environment to the agent through the senses”, but is rather created through an embodied and sensorimotor coupling of the agent with its environment. From the point of view of mathematical logic, this contrast can be formulated as follows: in classical logic, the semantics of formulae are given by a function that maps symbols to their referents, called the interpretation function. In the novel approach one does not assume the a priori existence of such a mapping; rather, one asks how agents’ embodiment and situatedness gives rise to semantics.
Another contrast can be observed between the logical theories of cognition and the promising new field of active inference. Active inference, based on the Free Energy Principle proposed by Karl Friston, states that cognitive agents act to minimize the surprise associated with their sensory input. In this inherently probabilistic in-terpretation, every self-sustaining entity is seen as unwittingly performing Bayesian inference about the hidden states of its environment. Emphasizing the deep connection between action and sensing, active inference can also be seen as a mathematical expression of situation concepts from phenomenology and pragmatism, according to which the skillful agent and its environment are co-defined.
For a detailed description of the scientific and philosophical focus areas of the conference, see the Call for Abstracts section.
Erkki Koiso-Kanttilan katu 1, Oulu, Finland