tvanes

About tvanes

Thomas van Es is a philosopher of cognitive science at the IAS Research Centre for Life, Mind and Society at the University of the Basque Country in Donostia, Spain, and the Centre for Philosophical Psychology at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. His current work focuses on enaction and dialectics. He has also published on science, autism, and the connection between enaction and the free energy principle and predictive processing.

IAS-Research Talk by Inês Hipólito: “Cognition on the Edge of Chaos: The Free Energy Principle”

Thursday 18 January at 09:00. The event will be online. If you want to participate, please contact amontf94@gmail.com

ABSTRACT:

Cognition stands as one of the most formidable challenges in scientific inquiry. Living organisms exhibit behaviour teetering on the precipice of chaos. The Free Energy Principle (FEP) has been proposed as a pertinent approach to apprehending cognition. Conventional discourse on the FEP characterises the brain as a predictive apparatus. Instead, I posit that while predictive coding is a valuable tool for deciphering the conduct of complex systems, living systems do not function as detached computational prognosticators. Given their dual status as operationally closed and open systems, they exist in a state of delicacy, fostering an unbroken and pivotal interplay with their surroundings. This state of affairs, amenable to scientific explication through the FEP, provides a nuanced understanding of cognition within living systems.

IAS Workshop on the Free Energy Principle by Thomas van Es and Miguel Aguilera

Thursday January 11 starting at 11:00 in Centro Carlos Santamaria room 5. The workshop will be hybrid. If you want to participate, please contact amontf94@gmail.com

The Free Energy Principle (FEP) and associated approaches such as predictive coding/processing and active inference have grown immensely in popularity in the last decade or so. With a grand unifying ambition, the FEP is said to underlie quantum and classical mechanics, biology, cognitive science, and sociology. But its statistical method and dense mathematics make the philosophical implications often difficult to follow for outsiders. To bring people up to speed on the basics, Thomas van Es and Miguel Aguilera will be presenting introductory materials.

11.00 – 13.00 Philosophical introduction to the FEP by Thomas van Es

13.00 – 15.00 lunch break

15.00 – 17.00 Critical examination of the mathematics of the FEP by Miguel Aguilera

IAS-Research Talk by David Cortés García: “La evolución de las relaciones reproductivas: una aproximación organísmica”

Thursday 14 December at 17:30 in Centro Carlos Santamaría, room 3. The talk will be hybrid. If you want to participate, please contact amontf94@gmail.com

ABSTRACT:

Este seminario se adentra en la filosofía de la biología reproductiva, presentando un marco organísmico y relacional. Específicamente, se trata el concepto de rasgo reproductivo, discutiendo su relevancia para las ciencias biológicas, los criterios empleados para su individuación y las posibilidades epistémicas que permite. Se expone la conceptualización adaptacionista y funcional de los rasgos reproductivos, entendidas como estrategias reproductivas para incrementar el fitness, señalando algunas de sus problemas y limitaciones a la hora de clasificar y explicar la diversidad en la reproducción. Proponemos, después, el concepto de carácter reproductivo organísmico y relacional, que pone el foco en las relaciones y da cuenta de la dimensión material y de desarrollo al tiempo que integra una visión funcional y reconoce rasgos no meramente morfológicos. Se explora cómo estos caracteres están integrados y su interacción, no solo dentro de un organismo, sino entre organismos, brindando una comprensión más profunda de los procesos reproductivos y sus conexiones en la naturaleza. Finalmente se esbozan los aspectos operacionales de esta propuesta para clasificar y explicar la evolución de los rasgos reproductivos y se discute por qué esta aproximación no es reducible a las anteriormente presentadas.