PERFECT 2016: False but Useful Beliefs

As part of project PERFECT we want to promote further investigation into whether false beliefs can be advantageous by being biologically adaptive, enhancing wellbeing, being conducive to the satisfaction of epistemic goals, or promoting some other form of agential success. In the existing psychological literature, self-deception, positive illusions, delusions, confabulatory explanations, and other instances of false belief have been shown to be beneficial in one or more ways. However, in the philosophical literature, there has not been yet a systematic study of the role of false beliefs in supporting different aspects of human agency. The workshop aims to fill this gap.

Some beliefs seem to have an important role in supporting human agency: they make us feel better about ourselves and even enhance our health prospects (e.g., positive illusions); they provide some explanation for very unusual experiences (e.g., clinical delusions); they protect us from undesirable truths (e.g., self-deception); they can help us fill existing gaps in our memory (e.g., confabulation); they support a sense of community that improves social integration (e.g., religious beliefs); and so on. The workshop will encourage a reflection on the relationship among the different types of benefits that such beliefs can have and on the different aims and functions of beliefs.

Registration is now open for PERFECT 2016, a workshop on False but Useful Beliefs to be held at Regent’s Conferences in central London on 4th and 5th February 2016. Speakers include Anandi Hattiangadi, Allan Hazlett and Neil Van Leeuwen.

Please go the University of Birmingham online shop to register as places are limited.


The Ontology of Conscious Experience

University of Leeds, 8th-9th July 2015

Venue: Baines Wing SR 2.08


Work on consciousness has tended to overlook the ontological status and structure of experiences, focusing instead on whether they can be explained by reference to non-experiential processes or events. The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers interested in the ontology of conscious experience, to establish which topics might be most fruitful as regards further research, and to outline an agenda for further work in this area.

Registration for this event is now open:

The deadline for registration is Friday July 3rd.

To confirm registration, or if you have any other queries, please contact Donnchadh O’Conaill ( )


Provisional schedule


Wednesday July 8th



Introductory tea/coffee


Helen Steward (Leeds) – Touching Experiences




Thomas Raleigh (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) – Sensations, Properties, and Predicates




Heather Logue (Leeds) – Are Perceptual Experiences Just Representations?


7.00 – conference dinner


Thursday July 9th



Holger Thiel (Central European University, Budapest) – Towards a Holistic Conception of Phenomenal Consicousness




Matthew Soteriou (Warwick) - Exercising Agency over the Occupation of Conscious Attention




Roundtable discussion featuring each of the speakers


This event is being held thanks to the support of the Centre for Metaphysics and Mind, University of Leeds, the ERC Nature of Representation Project, and a Minor Conference Grant from the Mind Association.

iCog blog

Following on from two hugely successful conferences, the iCog network would like to announce the launch of its new blog. This will act as a forum for new and exciting work happening across the cognitive sciences. In our first blog post, Tom McClelland (Manchester) poses some questions about the admissible contents of visual experience. You can read it here:

We would also like to welcome further submissions from theorists interested in presenting their research to a general readership. Submissions could explain a specific issue or experiment you, the author, has been working on, or they could act as a brief introduction to a topic of research. Alternatively, posts could be used to raise a specific concern, worry or thought you might have had in relation to work in the theoretical or experimental study of the mind.

Papers shouldn’t be too long. Articles around the thousand-word mark are ideal and certainly nothing longer than a couple of thousand of words. We want the blog to be accessible to a general readership so, wherever possible, jargon should be avoided. Harvard style referencing is preferred, and footnotes should be kept to a minimum.

Queries and submissions can be made to our blog editor, Sam Clarke, at

Call for Registrations: ‘The Sensorimotor Theory: Developments and Open Questions’ (ASSC satellite workshop)

ASSC satellite workshop – ‘The Sensorimotor Theory of Perception and Consciousness: Developments and Open Questions’


Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July 2015

Paris Descartes University, Paris, France


Keynote speakers

Anthony Chemero, Alva Noë


Invited speakers

Malika Auvray, Xabier Barandiaran, Andreas Engel, Erik Myin



The sensorimotor theory claims that we can make strides toward dissolving the mysteries of consciousness if we think of experience as a kind of bodily engagement with the environment rather than something that happens only in the brain. Specifically, it claims that perceptual consciousness depends on implicit mastery of sensorimotor contingencies, the pattern-like ways that sense inputs change in line with movement by the agent or object perceived.

Since its first official statement in a 2001 paper by O’Regan and Noë , the theory has been extended and developed in various ways, resulting in a rich set of empirical and philosophical ideas about conscious experience. This workshop will give an overview of the state of the art and discuss key issues that a future sensorimotor theory should tackle.



Registration is free but places are limited. To register, please email Niclette Bukasa Kampata on with your name and any affiliation.

The call for papers is now closed but all are invited to attend and join the discussion.


Further information

For venue information and the full line up of invited and submitted speakers, see:

The workshop is being organised by Kevin O’Regan, Lucia Foglia, David Silverman and Jan Degenaar as part of Kevin O’Regan’s ERC Advanced Project FEEL, based at the Psychology of Perception Laboratory, Paris Descartes University.

Job: Research Fellow on PERFECT

PERFECT logo 1

Project PERFECT is recruiting a post-doctoral research fellow to start on 1st October 2015. The post is full-time, fixed-term for three years.

Please see the ad and the job description for more information.

Deadline for applications is 7th April 2015.

Informal inquiries can be directed to Lisa Bortolotti, Professor of Philosophy, University of Birmingham.

Extended Knowledge – 1st International Conference

The Edinburgh Eidyn Centre is excited to announce that registration for the 1st International Conference (April 22-24) on the topic of Extended Knowledge is now open!

The aim of this 1st International Conference on the topic of ‘Extended Knowledge’ is to bring together leading scholars from around the world in order to critically examine the ramifications of the extended cognition programme (and related views) to contemporary epistemology, and to the theory of knowledge in particular.

The main event will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, April 22 and 23, and it will be followed by two satellite workshops on Friday, April 24. The first satellite (morning session) will be dedicated to the Epistemology of Education, and the second to Group Knowledge.

Registration (including lunches and dinner) is free for all attendants, but it is necessary in order to make appropriate catering arrangements. The deadline is April 15, 2015. To contact us, email Adam Carter at, or Orestis Palermos at

For more details, please visit the conference website.

To register, click here.

To find out more about the Extended Knowledge project, you can visit the project’s website.

Perspectives on Nativism: Edinburgh 21 – 22 May

The Linguistics and Philosophy departments at the University of Edinburgh are hosting a two day workshop on contemporary issues in Nativism.  Confirmed speakers include:

  • Balthasar Bickel, Linguistics, University of Zurich
  • Gillian Brown, Pyschology & Neuroscience, University of St. Andrews
  • Annie Gagliardi, Informatics, University of Edinburgh
  • Roger Levy, Linguistics, University of California, San Diego
  • Caroline Rowland, Psychology, University of Liverpool

Further information is available at our website:

Attendance is free, but please register at our website.


iCog 3: Call for conference proposals

iCog is a network of junior researchers – postgraduates and early-career researchers – working in cognitive science. The network aims to promote and encourage dialogue and collaboration between researchers in psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology and computational intelligence.

iCog has held two successful annual conferences, at the University of Sheffield in autumn 2013 and at the University of Edinburgh in autumn 2014. For details of these, see

iCog is now inviting proposals from junior researchers at UK universities to organize and host the third iCog conference, to take place by early 2016.

Proposals should include:

(1) A description of the topic of the conference along with a short explanation of how this would appeal to researchers in the different cognitive science disciplines;

(2) A list of possible invited speakers; ideally, there should be a guest speaker from most of the cognitive science disciplines;

(3) A preliminary list of members of the organizing committee and their departmental affiliations.

In the spirit of fostering dialogue between the disciplines of cognitive science, proposals from interdisciplinary committees are strongly encouraged. At the least, proposals should be made by junior researchers from at least two of the disciplines of cognitive science, with a view to having a wide range of the disciplines of cognitive science represented on the organizing committee.

The format of the conference is flexible, though it would ordinarily be a 1-3 day conference and should, at least, include presentations by invited speakers along with opportunities for junior researchers to present. In previous years, the conference has included a poster session, to increase and diversify the means of participation.

The iCog steering committee will be available to offer advice on organizational matters, and the iCog website <> will be available for advertising the call for papers, conference programme, call for registration, and other conference matters.

Conference organizers will be required to arrange funding for the conference through their institution and/or by applying to the relevant learned societies. However, iCog will be able to provide a guarantee against loss for up to £900.

Proposals should be 1-2 pages, and should be sent to by 31 March 2015. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection procedure by 15 April 2015.

CFP: Cognitio 2015 – Atypical Minds @ UQAM, Montreal, QC – June 8-10

(La version française suit.)


Cognitio 2015 – Atypical Minds: the Cognitive Science of Difference and Potentialities

Montreal, Canada

June 8th, 9th and 10th 2015


Keynote speakers:

Berit Brogaard – University of Miami, Professor in Philosophy; Director, Brogaard Lab for Multisensory Research.


Ian Gold – McGill University, Canada Research Chair in Philosophy and Psychiatry.



Deadline for submission: February 16th, 2015. 600 word abstract via EasyChair:


Cognitio is a young researchers’ conference held every other year at the Université du Québec à Montréal, under the auspices of its Cognitive Science Institute.

Over the past several years at Cognitio, many facets of the human mind were explored: decision making (2005); situated minds (2006); social cognition (2007); the evolution of minds and cultures (2009); nonhuman minds, including animal, artificial and group minds (2011) and creativity in art and discovery (2013).

This year’s Cognitio conference will revolve around the cognitive aspects of mental states that display the differences and potentialities of the human mind. We will question the possibility of establishing limits between the functions and dysfunctions of the cognitive system.

Every presentation that addresses mental troubles as atypical cognitive status from interdisciplinary interactions including psychiatry will be more than welcome, provided that there is a clear link with cognitive science. This topic can be approached from various angles. These include, but are not limited to: neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, cognitive informatics, anthropology, etc.


Suggested topics include:

* Is there such thing as a typical or an atypical mind? Does or should such a taxonomy address synaesthesia, trance or genius? Autism spectrum disorders? Giftedness?

* Can mental illnesses be reduced to neurological problems or do they have irreducible mental elements, such as intentionality, consciousness or rationality? Is the distinction between mental disease and physical disease the last bastion of mind-body dualism?

* Can we eliminate dualism without reducing mental troubles to neurological disorders? What’s the role of neuropsychiatry?

* What is a mental disease? How have mental troubles been defined through history? Is every cognitive dysfunction a mental illness? Are the notions of handicap or mental illness useful besides working as classification systems? Do they allow us to identify natural kinds?

* How do different societies interpret these classifications? Do they integrate the differences or highlight the potentialities that these classification reveal?

* Is psychiatry explanatory? If psychiatry is not explanatory, is it still a science?

* What recent technological and scientific advances have led to a better understanding of mechanisms of mental disease?

* How can we integrate the findings from different levels (molecular, cellular, networks) in computer simulations of different types of diseases (schizophrenia, Parkinson, epilepsy, etc.)? Is there a possible therapeutic role for these simulations?

* What are the main philosophical arguments against psychiatry? Is it possible to build a psychiatric science that moves away from the stigmatisation and alienation of those who are different? Or is a change of paradigm needed to study mental conditions? What options do we have?


Submission of proposals for the conference is done through the EasyChair system. We are asking for 600 word abstracts.

Deadline for submission is February 16th, 2015.




Cognitio 2015 – Esprits atypiques: les sciences cognitives de la différence et des potentialités

Montréal, Canada

8, 9, et 10 juin 2015


Conférencière et conférencier invités :

Berit Brogaard – University of Miami, Professor in Philosophy; Director, Brogaard Lab for Multisensory Research.


Ian Gold – Université McGill, Chaire de recherche du Canada en philosophie et psychiatrie.



Date limite pour les soumissions : 16 février. Résumé de 600 mots en anglais via EasyChair :


Cognitio est un colloque pour jeunes chercheures, chercheurs en sciences cognitives, tenu une année sur deux à l’Université du Québec à Montréal sous les auspices de l’Institut des Sciences Cognitives.

Au cours des dernières années, plusieurs facettes de l’esprit humain ont été explorées à Cognitio. Nous avons examiné la prise de décision (2005), les esprits situés (2006), la cognition sociale (2007), l’évolution des esprits et des cultures (2009), les esprits non humains, incluant les cognitions animales, artificielles et autres (2011) ainsi que l’origine et l’évolution de la créativité (2013).

Pour cette édition, nous mettons l’accent sur les esprits atypiques et les aspects cognitifs des états qui témoignent des différences et des potentialités de l’esprit humain.

Notre objectif est de discuter du concept de trouble mental, ainsi que de la pertinence et de la nature du domaine qui lui est consacré, la psychiatrie. Nous nous demanderons notamment s’il est possible d’établir des limites entre les fonctions et dysfonctions du système cognitif.

Toute proposition de communication ayant un lien direct avec les sciences cognitives et traitant des troubles mentaux, des interactions disciplinaires concernant les états cognitifs atypiques ou encore du statut de la psychiatrie est bienvenue. Cette thématique peut être traitée à partir de plusieurs perspectives. Celles-ci incluent, entre autres: les neurosciences, la psychologie, la philosophie, l’informatique cognitive, la linguistique, l’anthropologie, etc.


Les questions de la liste suivante, qui n’est pas exhaustive, pourraient bénéficier d’une combinaison de ces approches :

* Peut-on vraiment parler d’esprits typiques ou atypiques? Quelle place une telle catégorisation laisse à la synesthésie, à la transe ou au génie? Au troubles du spectre autistique? À la douance?

* Les troubles mentaux se réduisent-ils à des troubles neurologiques ou possèdent-ils des éléments irréductiblement mentaux, liés par exemple à l’intentionnalité, la conscience ou la rationalité? La distinction entre trouble ou maladie mentale et trouble ou maladie neurologique est-elle le dernier bastion du dualisme dans notre conception de l’esprit? Est-il envisageable de l’éliminer sans réduire les troubles mentaux à des désordres neurologiques? Quel est le rôle de la neuropsychiatrie?

* Qu’est-ce qu’un trouble mental? Comment cette définition a-t-elle évolué historiquement? Les notions de trouble, de maladie mentale ou de handicap sont-elles utiles au-delà des systèmes de classification? Permettent-elles d’identifier des espèces naturelles (natural kinds)? Comment les sociétés interprètent-elles cette classification? Sont-elles à même d’intégrer les différences ou de souligner les potentialités révélées par cette classification?

* La psychiatrie, est-elle explicative? Si la psychiatrie n’est pas explicative, est-elle tout de même une science?

* Quelles avancées technologiques et scientifiques récentes permettent de mieux comprendre les mécanismes des troubles mentaux?

* Comment intégrer les nouveaux résultats à différents niveaux (moléculaires, cellulaires et réseaux) dans des simulations informatiques de plusieurs états du cerveau (typique et atypique) de différents types de pathologies (schizophrénie, Parkinson, épilepsie, etc.)? Quelle peut être l’utilisation de ces simulations? Ont-elles un possible rôle thérapeutique?

* Est-il possible de construire une science psychiatrique qui s’éloigne de la stigmatisation et l’aliénation de ceux qui sont différents? Un changement de paradigme serait-il nécessaire pour l’étude des troubles de l’esprit? Quelles sont les options?


La soumission de propositions de communication se fait à l’aide du système EasyChair. Un résumé de 600 mots EN ANGLAIS doit être joint à la demande.

La date limite pour l’envoi des propositions est le 16 février 2015.


(apologies for cross-postings / nos excuses pour les envois multiples)


Guillaume Beaulac, PhD

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Philosophy

Yale University

International Workshop “Mind, Meaning, and Multimodality” (MMM) Pamplona (Spain), University of Navarra May 14-15, 2015

International Workshop “Mind, Meaning, and Multimodality” (MMM)

Pamplona (Spain), University of Navarra

May 14-15, 2015


Call for blitz presentations and posters


Invited speakers

Alexander Bergs, Universität Osnabrück

Irene Mittelberg, RWTH Aachen University

Francis F. Steen, University of California, Los Angeles

Mark Turner, Case Western Reserve University

Javier Valenzuela, University of Murcia



Inés Olza and Cristóbal Pagán, University of Navarra


Workshop theme

The Discourse Analysis Group (GRADUN) at the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra organizes the “Mind, Meaning, and Multimodality” (MMM) International Workshop, which aims to bring together scholars working in the fields of Multimodality and Gesture from different perspectives: Pragmatics, Semantics, Discourse Analysis, Semiotics, Computational Linguistics, Gesture Studies, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, etc.

The language of the workshop will be English. There is no registration fee. Financial aid is available (see Submissions and financial aid).

Since the late 1980s, and with authors such as Kress & van Leeuwen, McNeill or Kendon, several disciplines interested in discourse, cognition and the construction of communicative meaning have stressed the importance of going beyond the verbal dimension of texts, systematically studying the interaction of words with other means of communication (images and other visual components of discourse, sound, gesture, and proxemics in spontaneous interaction). Multimodality studies have become increasingly important for the study of the human mind, influencing views of cognition as integrative, embodied, extended, embedded, enactive, distributed, etc.

To deal with the full complexity of multimodal communication and its interplay with cognition, new methods and tools are needed. The Red Hen Lab is a recent international initiative for developing a large audiovisual dataset (the NewsScape Library of Television News Broadcasts) and a multidisciplinary community for the study of big data from multimodal communication. This workshop seeks to expand and consolidate our group of cooperative researchers.

The MMM Workshop is interested in exploring and promoting interdisciplinary methods to approach gesture and multimodal instances of discourse. The following issues may be of particular interest:

? Multimodal models of cognition

? Multimodal Pragmatics

? Multimodal Discourse Analysis

? Gesture, speech and meaning construction in spontaneous interaction

? Corpus approaches to gesture

? Computational tools for multimodal datasets

? Digital Humanities resources for multimodal datasets


Workshop structure

The workshop will seek fruitful interaction between participants at all times, combining talks by the invited speakers with demonstrations of Red Hen resources, roundtable discussions, and generous time for Q&A and debate. There will also be a blitz presentation session (10-minute talks) followed by a poster session, where blitz talks will be presented as posters, with ample time for further interaction with workshop participants.


Submissions and financial aid

Abstracts should be one page, 500 words maximum (including bibliography). Please send them no later than March 8th as a PDF email attachment to both and In the body of your email, please include your full name, affiliation, and contact details, as well as a very short biographical statement (50 words maximum). Submissions by early-stage researchers (doctoral and postdoctoral) are particularly welcome. Acceptance will be communicated shortly after the submission deadline.

We have limited funds to help scholars defray costs of travel and accommodation. If you cannot secure funding from other sources, please let us know, in the body of your email, whether you would like to apply for a grant covering the costs of travel, accommodation, or both. Your funding request will not affect the evaluation of your abstract.



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