Interactivist Summer Institute 2013
August 1 - 4, 2013
University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

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 seventh Summer Institute; the first was in 2001 at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA, the second in 2003 in Copenhagen, Denmark, the third in 2005 at Clemson University, South Carolina, USA, the fourth in 2007 at The American University in Paris, the fifth in 2009 at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver., and the sixth on Syros, Greece. The Summer Institute is a 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.


Department of Philosophy, University of South Florida, Tampa

Department of Society, Culture, and Languages of the University of South Florida, Saint Petersburg

Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA

  • Institute for Interactive Studies
  • Cognitive Science Program

  • Participation will be limited to 40 people.
  • People wishing to participate but not present a paper should submit a short curriculum vitae and a statement of interest to Interactivist Summer Institute. Please include E-mail address and fax number, if available. Applications should be received by April 1, 2011 (note that the date for abstract submissions is different than the date for applications for participation).
  • Notification of acceptance for participants will be provided by April 10, 2011.
  • For those who wish to submit an abstract for a proposed paper presentation, please see the call for papers: the deadline for submissions for abstracts is March 4, 2011. A separate application for participation is not required for those with paper acceptances.
  • The meeting will take place in Harbor Hall (the old Dali Museum), University of South Florida, Saint Petersburg.
  • A small number of scholarships for partial financial support will be provided by the organizers for graduate students or postdocs.