Please find below a list of some of the activities (talks, seminars, workshops, etc.) carried out at our center during the last seven years.


October – December 2019

July – September 2019

April – June 2019

January – March 2019

October – December 2018

July – September 2018

April – June 2018

January – March 2018

October – December 2017

April – June 2017

January – March 2017

October – December 2016

April – June 2016

January – March 2016

October – December 2015

July -September 2015

April – June 2015

January – March 2015

October – December 2014

July – September 2014

April – June 2014

January – March 2014

October – December 2013

July – September 2013

April – June 2013

January -March 2013

 October – December 2012

July – September 2012

April – June 2012

January – March 2012

October – December 2011




IAS-Research Talk by Silvia de Cesare (Université de Genève): “The idea of organic “progress” and evolutionary theory: an epistemological perspective” @ Centro Santamaria B14
Jan 28 @ 11:30 – 13:30



The notion of “progress” can be defined as a directional change towards the better, implying a descriptive and an axiological element. “Organic progress” is the idea that, in the history of life, there has been a change towards organic forms which are “better” than the ancient forms. Several scholars have showed that this idea can be found in Charles Darwin’s thought and continues to provoke debate today. My presentation aims to disentangle conceptual questions about the notion of organic progress. Can we identify a precise notion of progress that would be implied by evolutionary theory? To answer this, it is necessary to make explicit how this notion is related to two concepts: adaptation and function. Following the reasoning of Darwin, Richard Dawkins and George G. Simpson, I clarify the concept of functional improvement of organic traits. I argue than that there is an analogy between organic traits and technological objects, explicit in the notion of “arms race” proposed by Dawkins. Analyzing this analogy, I propose a distinction between two levels of axiology, often neglected both in organic and technological domain. I also suggest the hypothesis that the technological analogy may influence the significance that evolutionary biologists attribute to functional improvement.

IAS-Research Talk by Tim Klaassen (Tilburg University): “Enactivism and the Foundations of Ethics: Some Suggestions on How to Bring the Two Together” @ Centro Carlos Santamaria B14
Feb 4 @ 11:30 – 13:30


Can we utilize enactivism as a framework for understanding the foundations of normativity in the moral and political domain? In this talk I suggest a broad outline of an affirmative answer. To begin with, I show, relying on Korsgaard’s “constitutivist” account of the principles of practical reason, that normative standards within the moral domain can be shown to have their source in a moral agent’s distinct mode of autopoiesis. A moral agent is an agent endowed with a specific type of self-consciousness. Because of this, they have a certain degree of freedom in deciding which sensorimotor contingencies they shall adopt to govern their interaction with the environment. As a corollary to this, the world that such agents bring forth, and the kinds of action it affords, comes to have a distinctively moral significance. In the second part of my talk I explore the question of whether, in addition to this kind of “moral enaction” there is also something like a distinctively political form of world-enactment. That is, is there something distinctive about the manner in which institutions are enacted? Relying on the ideas of Hans-Georg Gadamer, I formulate a provisional affirmative answer to this question via the notion of tradition. On this account, tradition is a distinctive and irreducibly social form of enaction through which a world of socio-political institutions is brought forth. Even if this can be established, however, the challenge remains to see whether any normative conclusions can be drawn from it.