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Notice

AISB event Bulletin Item

2nd CALL FOR PAPERS: Re-conceptualizing Mental "Illness": Enactive Philosophy and Cognitive Science, An Ongoing Dialogue, AISB-50,1-4 April 2013, Goldsmiths, London, UK

http://konferens.ht.lu.se/aisb2014rmi/

Overview
This symposium carries on from the highly successful three-day symposium organized at last year's 
AISB convention in Plymouth.  Submissions for oral presentations are by full paper, for poster 
presentations by abstract.  For those who took part last year, the focus will be even more on the 
payoff that enactive philosophy and theoretical cognitive science working together can bring to 
mental health practice.
 
In the late 20th and early 21st Century, the dominant trend in philosophy of psychiatry and mental 
health has been toward pathologizing a wide range of mental phenomena under the headings of 
"disease", "illness", "disorder", or "disability" and treating the ones labeled "disease" or 
"illness" on a par with physical disease/illness, to be treated primarily by drug-based 
interventions: the so-called bio-psychiatric model. The terms "disorder" and "disability" 
are broader but still tend to stigmatize in unhelpful ways and are woefully underdefined.

 
Meanwhile, recent trends in cognitive science and philosophy of mind  notably Andy Clark and 
Dave Chalmers' extended-mind hypothesis and the enactive school associated with Evan Thompson, 
Francisco Varela, and others  have challenged the familiar equating of the boundaries of the 
physical body with those of the mind. While the various approaches differ at key points, all 
agree that, although the mind must be physically realized, it extends in substantive ways into 
the environment, its boundaries subject to constant negotiation and re-negotiation.
 
As such extended-mind critics as Robert Rupert point out, re-conceptualizing the boundaries of 
mind and world in this way can only be justified if there is some empirical payoff. A small but 
increasingly vocal group within the extended-mind/enactive community believe that one of the best 
places to look for such payoff is in the field of mental health. They suggest moving away from a 
model based on physical illness towards one that emphasizes each person's history and embedding 
in a social context: such identified conditions as Asperger Syndrome and high-functioning autism 
are better understood as instances of cognitive diversity rather than impairment; while conditions 
such as schizophrenia or manic-depressive disorder must be understood, and treated, as problems of 
the patient's immediate community and not just the patient herself.

 
Furthermore, they must be understood, and treated, in light of the patient's history of 
interactions with her environment and not just the presenting symptoms. The risk of much 
contemporary treatment is that, like aspirin, it treats the symptoms and does not address the 
underlying issues.

 
As an emerging community and not just a scattered collection of "lone voices", the field is 
brand new, and it is cutting edge.  It touches on the nature of the mind and its relationship 
to environment, the possibilities for computer models of mind that draw on exciting new paradigms, 
and the breadth of cognitive science from theoretical explorations in philosophy of mind to 
concrete applications and new directions in treatment. The two-day symposium will look both at 
the movement towards re-conceptualizing mental health and at its ethical consequences, along 
with ways it might most fruitfully employ the new perspectives and computer modeling tools of 
the wider cognitive science community.
 

Call for papers

Submissions should be by full paper or, in the case of poster presentation, abstract, suitably 
prepared for blind review.  Papers should be kept to a maximum of 5,000 words and intended for 
presentation in a 25-minute format.  Abstracts should be approximately 500 words.  Submission is 
via the EasyChair website at https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=aisb2014rmi.
 Topics may include but need not be limited to:

 philosophy of psychiatry 
computational models of mental health diversities and disorders 
conceptual schemes and re-conceptualization as they relate to mental health 
semiotic perspectives on mental health 
extended-mind hypothesis and mental health 
empirical philosophy and mental health 
cognitive science and mental health 
movement away from pathologizing mental health issues 
the Solutions Focus approach

ethical and political consequences of an extended/enactive approach to mental health issues 


Chairs:

Joel Parthemore
 Centre for Cognitive Semiotics
 Lund University, Lund, Sweden

 Blay Whitby
 Centre for Research in Cognitive Science
 University of Sussex, Brighton, UK


Program Committee:

Fred Cummins
 School of Computer Science and Informatics
 University College Dublin, Ireland

 Sanneke de Haan
 Researcher in philosophy and psychiatry
 Academic Medical Center
 University of Amsterdam 


Dan Hutto
 Professor of Philosophical Psychology
 University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK 

Hanne De Jaegher
 Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science
 University of the Basque Country, Spain

 Marek McGann
 Lecturer, Mary Immaculate College
 University of Limerick, Ireland 


Mark McKergow
 Co-Director 
Centre for Solutions Focus at Work, London, UK 

Alexandra Perry
 Assistant Professor, McDonough Leadership Program
 Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio, USA
 
Gran Sonesson
 Centre for Cognitive Semiotics
 Lund University, Sweden 

Proceedings

There will be separate proceedings for each symposium, produced before the convention.  Details 
will follow as they become available. It is expected that selected papers from the symposium will 
be published in a special issue of a major journal.


Important dates:

3 January - deadline for submission of full papers
 3 February - notification of acceptance
 24 February - final versions of papers due for inclusion in the proceedings