Trends in interdisciplinary studies

3rd Avant Conference 2017

Understanding Social Cognition

Within the social sciences, it is widely accepted that groups of people exhibit social properties and dynamics that emerge from, but cannot be reductively identified with the actions and properties of individual members. Nevertheless, psychology and cognitive science have only reluctantly embraced the idea that something similar might happen in the domain of mind and cognition. Contemporary research on the distinctively social aspects of human cognition, which has become abundant over the past two decades, tends to fall somewhere along the following continuum. On the “conservative” side, the minds of individuals are currently being reconceived as socially situated, culturally scaffolded, and deeply transformed by our life-long immersion and participation in group contexts. According to more “liberal” multi-level approaches, the informational integration of functionally interdependent and socially distributed individual cognitive processes can enable the rise to emergent group-level cognitive phenomena. We invite participants to explore the full spectrum of social cognition, ranging from the elementary social-cognitive skills that allow people to think and act together, through embodied behavioral coupling and joint intentionality, mechanisms of mind reading and mutual understanding, all the way to group cognition.

Deadlines

Abstracts submission July 31
Notification of acceptance August 30
Registration fee September 30

Key speakers and Guests of Special Symposia

  • Daniel Dennett (Tufts University, USA, book promotion)
  • Morana Alač (University of California San Diego, USA)
  • Stephen Cowley (University of Southern Denmark)
  • Arkadiusz Gut (Catholic University of Lublin, Poland)
  • Robert Rupert (University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
  • Judith Simon (University of Hamburg, Germany)
  • Deborah Tollefsen (University of Memphis, USA)
  • Robert Wilson (University of Alberta, Canada)

Relevant topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Socially situated and scaffolded individual cognition
  • Social cognition from an evolutionary, cultural-historical, and ontogenetic perspective
  • Psychological underpinnings of social interaction (joint, multi-agent, collective)
  • Collective intentionality and social ontology
  • Technologically vs. socially extended cognition
  • Distributed cognition and group minds
  • Current debates on mindreading, empathy, social affordances, and the cognitive bases for intersubjectivity

Relevant disciplines: cognitive science, philosophy, psychology, sociology, linguistics, anthropology, political science, legal theory, economics, animal cognition