Core Enaction Semester 3

    Summary timetable
    18:00 CEST
    27th September, 2023
    Session 1 – Chapter 7: The Cartesian AnxietyDr Sebastjan Vörös
    18:00 CEST
    11th October, 2023
    Session 2 – Chapter 8: Enaction: Embodied CognitionDr Valérie Bonnardel
    18:00 CEST
    25th October, 2023
    Session 3 – Chapter 9: Symbols: Evolutionary Path Making and Natural DriftDr Ezequiel Di Paolo
    17:00 CET (!)
    8th November, 2023
    Session 4 – Chapter 10: The Middle WayDr Jay Garfield
    18:00 CET
    22nd November, 2023
    Session 5 – Chapter 11: Laying Down a Path in WalkingRoshi Dr Joan Halifax
    18:00 CET
    6th December, 2023
    Session 6 – Concluding discussionDr Evan Thompson and fellow guest speakers

    Session 1 – Chapter 7: The Cartesian Anxiety


    In his talk, Dr Vörös will delve into Chapter VII of The Embodied Mind, intriguingly titled “The Cartesian Anxiety”. This short and almost deceptively simple chapter plays a pivotal role in the book, as it marks the transition from the first, and more critical part, in which the authors outline the general framework of their narrative and highlight the shortcomings of opposing views, to the second, and more constructive part, in which they provide a positive account of their own perspective. The reason why this chapter is so significant is because it hints at the multilayered nature of their positive account: the latter, according to the authors, is not only intended as an alternative scientific (theoretical) model but also as a more general, all-encompassing existential stance towards the world and others. Put differently, Varela, Thompson and Rosch try to bring our attention to the existential roots of the theoretical views they are critiquing, arguing that they originate in a deep-seated anxiety and grasping for firm, secure foundations (both epistemic and epistemological).

    In his talk, Dr Vörös will begin by summarising some of the main points laid down during the previous presentations, thus situating the chapter within the book’s overall framework. Then, he will flesh out the three central thematic clusters of the chapter: the notion of representation; the Cartesian anxiety; and the (preliminary) steps to a middle way. Finally, he will offer some tentative pointers for how these ideas will be further developed in the remainder of the book.

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