Call: Embodied and Narrative Practices: Clinical and Practical Applications

Call for Papers
Embodied and Narrative Practices: Clinical and Practical Applications
A two-day conference

11-12 July 2011, De Havilland Campus, University of Hertfordshire

For applied and clinical work in a variety of areas like psychopathology and physiotherapy, as well as in educational and various institutional contexts, it is important to have a good understanding of how embodied and social cognitive processes function to support everyday interpersonal relations and social understanding. Recent research on social cognition that draws from developmental psychology, phenomenology, embodied cognition, and narrative theory has been challenging standard approaches to social cognition taken in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy.

According to the standard ‘theory of mind’ framework understanding others depends on cognitive inference and/or simulation routines that allow us to ‘mindread’ – that is, to infer or imagine – the other person’s mental states. In contrast, the Embodied and Narrative Practices (E&NP) Framework builds on the idea that embodied practices of social interaction develop our skills for detecting and dealing with the purposeful intentions of others, without having to represent or attribute mental states as such. Agents, engaged in social interaction, rather than inferring or ascribing mental states in others, directly perceive intentions and emotional states in their bodily movements, gestures and facial expressions, and further specify the other person’s meaning as they see them act in pragmatic and normatively-determined social contexts. Furthermore, the more sophisticated and language-based ways of making sense of ourselves and others, where we understand actions in terms of reasons, are grounded in socio-cultural, and
specifically narrative practices.

The purpose of this conference is to explore the implications that this alternative theoretical approach has for various applications in areas such as psychopathology, psychotherapy, physical therapy, education, institutional organization, and team performance.

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

Matthew Belmonte: National Brain Research Centre, India
Matthew Broome: NHS & University of Warwick
Thomas Fuchs: University of Heidelberg
Richard Gipps: International Network for Philosophy & Psychiatry
Laura Sparacci: Children’s Hospital ‘Bambino Gesù’ Rome

Proposals for presentations addressing this theme and related topics are welcome. Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted by 15 April 2011 to:

Professor Daniel D. Hutto
School of Humanities
University of Hertfordshire
de Havilland Campus
Hertfordshire AL10 9AB


Accepted papers will be given a maximum of 20 minutes for presentation, with roughly 10 minutes for questions.

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