Interactivist Summer Institute 2005
September 19-23, 2005
the Madren Conference Center
Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA

Join us in exploring the frontiers of understanding of life, mind, and cognition. There is a growing recognition - across many disciplines - that phenomena of life and mind, including cognition and representation, are emergents of far-from-equilibrium, interactive, autonomous systems. Mind and biology, mind and agent, are being re-united. The classical treatment of cognition and representation within a formalist framework of encodingist assumptions is widely recognized as a fruitless maze of blind alleys. From neurobiology to robotics, from cognitive science to philosophy of mind and language, dynamic and interactive alternatives are being explored. Dynamic systems approaches and autonomous agent research join in the effort.

The interactivist model offers a theoretical approach to matters of life and mind, ranging from evolutionary- and neuro-biology - including the emergence of biological function - through representation, perception, motivation, memory, learning and development, emotions, consciousness, language, rationality, sociality, personality and psychopathology. This work has developed interfaces with studies of central nervous system functioning, the ontology of process, autonomous agents, philosophy of science, and all areas of psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science that address the person.

The conference will involve both tutorials addressing central parts and aspects of the interactive model, and papers addressing current work of relevance to this general approach. This will be our third Summer Institute; the first was in 2001 at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA, and the second was in 2003 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The intention is for this Summer Institute to become a traditional biennial meeting where those sharing the core ideas of interactivism will meet and discuss their work, try to reconstruct its historical roots, put forward current research in different fields that fits the interactivist framework, and define research topics for prospective graduate students. People working in philosophy of mind, linguistics, social sciences, artificial intelligence, cognitive robotics, theoretical biology, and other fields related to the sciences of mind are invited to send their paper submission or statement of interest for participation to the organizers.


  • Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA
  • Institute for Interactive Studies
  • Cognitive Science Program
  • Humanities Research Center
  • Department of Psychology, Clemson University
  • Electrical Engineering Faculty, SS Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Macedonia

  • Participation will be limited to 50 people and by invitation only;
  • People wishing to participate should submit a short curriculum vitae and a statement of interest to Interactivist Summer Institute. Please include e-mail address and/or fax number, if available. Applications should be received by April 15, 2005.
  • Notification of acceptance will be provided by May 15, 2005.
  • The meeting will take place in the Madren Conference Center, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina;
  • A small number of scholarships for partial financial support will be provided by the organizers for graduate students or postdocs.