Christopher Erhard / Rethinking the active-passive distinction from a phenomenological point of view

Christopher Erhard, postdoctoral visiting researcher from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich (LMU Munich), holder of a DFG fellowship, currently working on a Habilitationsschrift on the Phenomenology of Being Active and related issues.

Using resources both from the (largely neglected) early and classical phenomenological tradition and from contemporary approaches, the overall goal of my project is to rethink the active-passive distinction from a phenomenological point of view.

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Juan Toro / Embodiment and the theory of affordances

Often disorientated, but also seduced by the complexities of the topic, I’ve been revolving around the same question for a year: How can phenomenology and embodied cognitive science help us understand cases of abnormal embodiment, like cerebral palsy?

Currently I’m working on the theory of affordances, as originally proposed by Gibson in 1979. The notion of affordance, conceived as the opportunities for action for an agent in an environment, has played a central role in embodied cognitive science -especially in the radical, non-representationalist versions-. One of the reasons is that it provides a tool to explain the engagement of the animal (or person) with its environment avoiding the issues associated with explaining cognition in terms of representations and computations.

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