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

Upcoming Events

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 Maria Jimena Clavel (University of St. Andrews): “Embodying imagination ” @ Santamaria building (B14)
Jul 2 @ 11:30 – 13:00

Embodying imagination 

Maria Jimena Clavel, University of St. Andrews

(co-authored with Adriana Clavel-Vázquez)


This piece is part of a larger project that aims at showing that imagination is constrained as a consequence of its embodied character and that explores the consequences of that thesis in our engagement with art and in our social interactions. Traditionally, we think of imagination as a paradigmatic case of offline cognition, i.e. cognitive endeavors that do not directly involve real-time adaptive interactions with our surroundings. In this piece we challenge this more traditional understanding of imagination and argue that exercises of imagination are embodied. We examine two embodied approaches to imagination that can be found in the literature: a radical enactive approach (see Hutto 2006, Medina 2013) and a predictive approach to imagination (see Kirchhoff 2017); and what it means for imagination to be embodied from the perspective of these two approaches. From the perspective of the first approach, our imaginative engagements are a re-enactment of our interactions with the environment and are better understood by referring to agent-world dynamics. From the perspective of the second approach, imagination is supported by the same predictive mechanism that supports perception. Here we explore the possibility of a middle ground between these two positions in what concerns imagination, and the notion of embodiment that stems from it. Importantly, one consequence of this approach is that imagination is constrained by its embodied character.

Jul 9 – Jul 10 all-day
IAS-Research Talk by Miguel A. Sepúlveda-Pedro (Université de Montréal): “Opening the ecological dimension of the enactive approach: Umwelt, normativity, and form” @ Santamaria building (B14)
Jul 16 @ 11:30 – 13:00

Miguel A. Sepúlveda-Pedro

Université de Montréal

Opening the ecological dimension of the enactive approach: Umwelt, normativity, and form



The enactive approach is an alternative approach to cognition that challenges many fundamental assumptions of mainstream cognitive science. One of the most fundamental assumptions of traditional cognitive science is that the objective World is a ready-made reality that we access via our cognitive capacities, thus cognition essentially consist in getting information about this objective reality. In this classical picture, we need to reconstruct or represent the outside world in our heads, given the limited capacities of our senses. From the beginning, the enactive approach has challenged this conception of cognition by positing that the world we live, in our cognitive lives, is enacted thanks to the interactions of a living agent and its surroundings. Therefore, it is suggested that the world that a cognitive agent experience is not an objective reality but a dimension that acquires meaning and value according to the skills and concerns of living agents. Thompson, in his Mind in Life, loosely refer to this enactment of a meaningful world as an Umwelt. Uexküll coined the concept of Umwelt to define the world as it is lived by animals, according to their biological needs. However, Uexküll statements was sometimes explicitly linked to Kant’s transcendental philosophy. One of the problems of Kant’s transcendental philosophy is that it encloses the subject in its own domain, meanwhile an objective unknowable reality remains the source of materials that acquire form thanks to the mental capacities of the subject. In this Kantian background, the enactment of an Umwelt will be analogous to the constitution of a meaningful world by the capacities of the subject alone. This interpretation of the Umwelt is deeply problematic, and it does not reflect the claims of the enactive approach. This approach, like phenomenology, offers an account that entails a deep entanglement between the body and the environment, not an enclosed form of subjectivity. Nevertheless, many criticisms on the enactive approach seems to interpret the enactment of an Umwelt in the Kantian sense, so they claim that the enactive approach entails some form of subjectivism. In my view, many of these criticism are unfounded due to misinterpretations of the claims of the enactive approach, nonetheless, their criticisms push us to have a more specific account of the Umwelt, one that remains coherent with the claims of the enactive approach, but that also avoids the problems that have been usually attributed to the enactive approach. Thus, I will suggest that conceptually the notion of interanimality and the metaphor of animal melodies, in Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of nature, offer us a better way to understand the characteristics of the Umwelt, from the perspective of the enactive approach. Moreover, I will also suggest that an account of what I call structural emergence needs to be also explicitly added to the theory of biological autonomy, to open the domain of embodied subjectivity to a deeper ecological dimension of emplaced intercorporeality.