Creative environments, social minds
Kåre Poulsgaard (University of Oxford)
Chris Goldsworthy (University of Oxford)
Lambros Malafouris (University of Oxford)
Steve Rayner (University of Oxford)
Cognition and evolution
Examination Schools Room 10
Start time:
21 September, 2018 at 9:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short abstract:

New embodied and enactive approaches to cognition highlight how humans inhabit relational worlds that vitally shape our capacity for thought and action. How can these approaches help us study creativity and imagination as fundamentally situated within shifting synthetic and social environments?

Long abstract:

New approaches in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind is leading cognition outwards into the world with the idea that mind is not the stuff of isolated individuals, but is relational and emergent so that collective and environmental factors fundamentally shape our ability to think and act. In these approaches, mind is embodied and reaches across social, material and biological environments. Cognition rests on dynamic interactions between people and these environments negotiated through creative practice. Theories of embodied and enactive mind consider this productive intermingling of people and their environments to show how situated practice comes to shape cognition in both transient and durable ways. This relational approach assumes that cognition is contingent, creative and inextricably entangled with our surroundings. Highlighting questions of stability, novelty and change, this interactive framework can help explain the sociality of mind to show how shared dispositions of varied scope and durability develop, are maintained and change through shifting synthetic and social environments.

Bridging social, material and biological environments, we invite scholars across anthropology, STS, philosophy, and cognitive science to discuss how people co-create relative stability out of the inchoate flux of events that surround them - and how this stability is constantly and creatively contested, manipulated and re-imagined in embodied and social practice.