The Future of the Embodied Mind

The summer school focuses on cognition in artificial and biological systems from a theoretical perspective that considers embodiment, situatedness, and action-relatedness as key elements in understanding and implementing cognitive systems.

Event dates: 4th -- 10th September 2011

The school will expose young researchers to theoretical ideas and modeling techniques, thereby facilitating a wider understanding of the broader enactive approach to cognition. It will take place against the background of the celebration of 20 years of the publication of the book "The Embodied Mind" by Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch. This book is a symbolic landmark demarcating the beginnings of the consolidation of the embodied turn into a theoretically-loaded gathering of insights, discoveries and ideas within the sciences of the mind. The summer school will gather several of different disciplines affected by this turn (robotics, neuroscience, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, AI) and some of the main protagonists in these fields. The objective will simultaneously be a taking stock of progress in embodied approaches over the last two decades and the elucidation of current challenges and directions. The school will have a duration of 7 days (1st day arrival and social event, 5 full days school activities, 1 day departure), each day featuring 3 talks in the morning by invited speakers, smaller discussion groups and workshops in the afternoon, and a general discussion session in the evening. The school is initiated and substantially funded by the consortium of the "eSMCs" project (, a newly starting STREP funded by IST-Cognitive Systems.