The Immanence* of Enkinaesthesia

`Enkinaesthesia', like `intersubjectivity' and `intercorporeality', relates to notions of affect, but in this case it is with the affect we have on the neuro-muscular dynamical flow and muscle tension of an other, including other animals and even objects, through both direct and indirect touching, for example, your perception of others perceiving you, and the way language, as a biodynamical engine, can alter the body.

We will argue that enkinaesthesic dialogical-relations are the preconceptual experientially circular temporal dynamics which form the deep extended melodies of relationships-in-time, and that any understanding of how those relationships work, when they falter, when they resonate sweetly, and so on, will depend on a grasp, not only of our intersubjectivity or our intercorporeality but, of our enkinaesthesia.

We will elaborate the enkinaesthetic as an ontogenetically primary sensory-kinaesthetic, with kinaesthetic memory, melody, imagination and anticipatory dynamics building in to it. One of the most striking things here is to get rid of the false idea of turn-taking as the basis for the organization of com- municative dialogical relations, and this will be done with reference to the affective balance achieved through the Husserlian notion of Paarung, the folding, unfolding and refolding of the intersubjective, intercorporeal, enkinaesthetic dynamics with their affectively-laden tonalities.

With a working definition of enkinaesthesia, as the presentation of, openness to, and reception of subtle multi-drectional cues in any active dialogical relation, there are grounds for saying, following Heidegger, that it is this which constitutes the primordial mood of care for human relationships (Dasein) and the roots of morality; but it would be mistaken to stop here, for I can care - be consciously related to, moving and being moved by, other things in my world, for example, cats, horses, the environment, and so on.

*The notion of `immanence' used here emphasizes the direct, non-duality of the inescapable experience of `other'. This is also emphasized in the use of `enkinaesthesia' as opposed to `interkinaesthesia' because (i) it emphasises the enfolding of agent and agent, agent and object and (ii) it doesn't bastardize the Latin and Greek etymological roots.

Enkinaesthetia, Biosemiotics and the Ethiosphere

The dynamic plenisentient interrelation of agent and world is specified in kinaesthetic terms. Kinaesthetic activity, with its temporal-spatial-energic qualities, is always affectively-laden, and through the formation of intercorporeal resonances, the activity necessitates enkinaesthetic entwining with those agents with whom, and those objects with which, we are in relations of perpetual community. I will argue that the capacity for enkinaesthetic dialogue is an a priori nomological condition for agency and the generation of a felt anticipatory dynamics both within and between agents.

Enkinaesthesia emphasizes not just the neuromuscular dynamics of the agent, that is, the givenness and ownership of its experience but also the entwined, blended and situated co-affective feeling of the presence of the other (agential and non-agential alike) and, where appropriate, the enkinaesthetically anticipated arc of the other's action or movement, including, again where appropriate, the other's intentionality. The `other' can be sensing and experiencing agents and it is their affective intentional reciprocity, their folding, enfolding and unfolding, which co-constitutes the conscious relation and the experientially recursive temporal dynamics that lead to the formation and maintenance of integral enkinaesthetic structures and melodies. Such deeply felt enkinaesthetic melodies emphasise the dialogical nature of the feeling of being as the feeling of being-with or being-among, and demonstrate the paucity of individuating notions that treat agents as singular.

Enkinaesthesia, as the openness to and reception of myriad subtle multi-drectional cues in dialogical relations, provides grounds for saying, following Heidegger, that it is this which constitutes the primordial mood of care for human relationships and the deep roots of morality. If this is the case, then we might think of it as composing an `ethiosphere' consistent with the semiosphere and the biosphere as presented by Hoffmeyer [1995 & 2008].

Published in Signifying Bodies: Biosemiosis, Interaction and Health, 2010, ISBN 978-972-697-191-7

The table of contents is available here.

Aplasic phantoms and the mirror neuron system: An enactive, developmental perspective

Phantom limb experiences demonstrate an unexpected degree of fragility inherent in our self-perceptions. This is perhaps most extreme when congenitally absent limbs are experienced as phantoms. Aplasic phantoms highlight fundamental questions about the physiological bases of self-experience and the ontogeny of a physical, embodied sense of the self. Some of the most intriguing of these questions concern the role of mirror neurons in supporting the development of self–other mappings and hence the emergence of phantom experiences of congenitally absent limbs. In this paper, we will examine the hypothesis that aplasic phantom limb experience is the result of an ontogenetic interplay between body schemas and mirror neuron activity and that this interplay is founded on embedding in a social context. Phantom limb experience has been associated with the persistence of subjective experience of a part of the body after deafferentation through surgical or traumatic removal. We maintain that limited association is inconsistent with the extent to which phantom limb experience is reported by aplasic individuals.

This is work carried out in collaboration with Rachel Wood, University of Pavia & Sussex University

Published: Phenomenology and Cognitive Sciences, vol.8, no.4, 2009

Kinaesthetic Imagination and Consciousness

"Articulated Temporal-Kinaesthetic Consciousness"

Kinaesthetic engagement has a way of becoming hidden to us, but it was once familiar. What has become automatic was once conscious perception, but it became enriched, then saturated by experience and habit. Its structure, particularly its temporal structure, is ready to be disclosed.

Husserl argues that conscious experience possesses an articulated temporal structure in terms of retention, immediate present and protention. In a similar vein I will argue that kinaesthetic experience has an articulated temporal structure. In developing the notions of kinaesthetic melody from the work of Merleau-Ponty and Luria, and kinaesthetic memory from Sheets-Johnstone's work, I will present a case for the energic character of the neuromuscular dynamical flow of engaged movement such that it enables enactive kinaesthetic imagination and the capacity for kinaesthetic anticipation/expectation. Thus the sensory felt-dynamics of kinaesthetic engagement establishes non-cognitive bodily expectations about how the agent's world will continue to be, and our experience of playing an instrument, of riding a horse, of walking down an escalator is -- just as in listening to a melody -- at the same time present, retentive and protentive.

"It pertains to the essence of intuition that in every point of its duration it is conscious of what has just been and is not mere consciousness of the now-point of the objective thing appearing as having duration ..." [Husserl, Internal Time Consciousness, p.53-54]

"Kinaesthetic memory, imagination and anticipation: undermining Dennett's claims for heterophenomenology"

My primary aim is to present a notion of kinaesthetic anticipation which will be developed through an analysis of kinaesthetic memory and kinaesthetic imagination. Secondarily I will use Husserl's notion of "intentional transgression", which depends on a pre-reflective "analogizing apprehension" of my body with the body of the other, in an attempt to -- forcibly -- reshape Dennett's notion of heterophenomenology, the "phenomenology of another not oneself'' [Dennett 2003], to fit a dynamic notion of perception and kinaesthetic anticipation of another's actions. Heterophenomenology rejects first-person introspective report in favour of, what is apparently, detached scientific interpretation, but this is to misrepresent the fact that the third-person study can only interpret if some communication, even implicit pre-reflecitve communication through perceptual-kinaesthetic anticipation of the other's states and actions, is present already.

Presented at Backgrounding: From the Body of Knowledge to the Knowing Body Interuniversity Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 5th - 7th October 2007

"Kinaesthetic Imagination and Consciousness"

Briefly I want

My aim is to elaborate a notion of imagination as bodily expectation that has been established through a history of prehension and apprehension by the agent its world. The imagination is a facet of our experience about which a great deal has been written but about which little has been firmly grasped. To date the emphasis has been largely on understanding its creative character, namely that aspect of the mind that is innovative and fanciful, that enables us to put together ideas and images in novel conjunctions and to bring to mind those things that are no longer present to the senses. I do not want to examine this aspect of the imagination. Instead, I will concentrate on imagination's productive, bodily, character; that aspect of the mind that extrapolates through bodily consciousness or experience an anticipation or, let us say, an expectation of how our world will continue to be from moment to moment, from sensation to sensation. It is a notion of imagination that is fundamental to any conscious experiencing system, for it is through the smooth functioning of this imagination that we are able: (i) to have unconscious expectations about how our world will be with regard to each of our senses and (ii) to recognise change when our sensory expectations are not realised. Perhaps most importantly it is from this power of the imagination, to build up unconscious sensory expectations and recognise when they are not realised, that we are able to develop our deep sense of the passage of time. Thus, our sense of the passage of time is, at base, physiological and unconscious, and derived from our plenisentient and dynamic coupling with our environment.


"Bodily Consciousness and Bodily Imagination", Consciousness and Experiential Psychology, St Anne's College, Oxford, 15 - 17 September 2006

"Bodily Consciousness and Bodily Imagination", European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Belfast, 24-27 August 2006

"Bodily Imagination and Kinaesthetic Melodies", Situated Cognition and Embodiment, International Association for Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Durham University, 18-20 August 2006

Kant, Kinaesthesia and Technology

From Agency to Apperception: Through Kinaesthesia to Cognition and Creation

My aim in this paper is to go some way towards showing that the maintenance of hard and fast dichotomies, like those between mind and body, and the real and the virtual, is untenable, and that technological advance cannot occur with being cognisant of its reciprocal ethical implications. In their place I will present a softer enactivist ontology through which I examine the nature of our engagement with technology in general and with virtual realities in particular. This softer ontology is one to which I will commit Kant, and from which, I will show, certain critical moral and emotional consequences arise.

It is my contention that Kant's logical subject is necessarily embedded in the world and that Kant, himself, would be content with this claim as an expression of his inspired response to the ``scandal to philosophy ... that the existence of things outside us ... must be accepted merely on faith'' [Bxl]. In keeping with hisarguments for the a prioriframing of intuition, the a priori structuring of experience through the spontaneous application of the categories, the synthesis of the experiential manifold, and the necessity of a unity of apperception, I will present an enactivist account of agency in the world, and argue that it is our embodied and embedded kinaesthetic engagement in our world which makes possible the syntheses of apprehension, reproduction and recognition, and which, in turn, make possible the activity of the reproductive or creative imagination.

Published in the Journal of Ethics and Information Technology, 2008, 10 (4), pp.255-264

Machine Consciousness

"Machine Consciousness: Cognitive and Kinaesthetic Imagination"

Machine consciousness exists already in organic systems and it is only a matter of time -- and some agreement -- before it will be realised in reverse-engineered organic systems and forward-engineered inorganic systems. The agreement must be over the preconditions that must first be met if the enterprise is to be successful, and it is these preconditions, for instance, being a socially-embedded, structurally-coupled and dynamic, goal-directed entity that organises its perceptual input and enacts its world through the application of both a cognitive and kinaesthetic imagination, that I shall concentrate on presenting in this paper. It will become clear that these preconditions will present engineers with a tall order, but not, I will argue, an impossible one. After all, we might agree with Freeman and Nunez's claim that the machine metaphor has restricted the expectations of the cognitive sciences (Freeman & Nunez, 1999); but it is a double-edged sword, since our limited expectations about machines also narrow the potential of our cognitive science.

Published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2007, 14 (7) pp.141-53

Reference for Freeman, W. & Nunez, R.E. (1999), `Reclaiming cognition: Restoring to cognition the forgotten primacy of action, intention and emotion', Journal of Consciousness Studies, (11--12), pp. ix-xix.

"Conscious Machines: Memory, Melody and Imagination"

A great deal of effort has been, and continues to be, devoted to developing consciousness artificially (A small selection of the many authors writing in this area includes: Cotterill (J Conscious Stud 2:290–311, 1995, 1998), Haikonen (2003), Aleksander and Dunmall (J Conscious Stud 10:7–18, 2003), Sloman (2004, 2005), Aleksander (2005), Holland and Knight (2006), and Chella and Manzotti (2007)), and yet a similar amount of effort has gone in to demonstrating the infeasibility of the whole enterprise (Most notably: Dreyfus (1972/1979, 1992, 1998), Searle (1980), Harnad (J Conscious Stud 10:67–75, 2003), and Sternberg (2007), but there are a great many others). My concern in this paper is to steer some navigable channel between the two positions, laying out the necessary pre-conditions for consciousness in an artificial system, and concentrating on what needs to hold for the system to perform as a human being or other phenomenally conscious agent in an intersubjectively-demanding social and moral environment. By adopting a thick notion of embodiment—one that is bound up with the concepts of the lived body and autopoiesis (Maturana and Varela 1980; Varela et al. 2003; and Ziemke 2003, 2007a, J Conscious Stud 14(7):167–179, 2007b)—I will argue that machine phenomenology is only possible within an embodied distributed system that possesses a richly affective musculature and a nervous system such that it can, through action and repetition, develop its tactile-kinaesthetic memory, individual kinaesthetic melodies pertaining to habitual practices, and an anticipatory enactive kinaesthetic imagination. Without these capacities the system would remain unconscious, unaware of itself embodied within a world. Finally, and following on from Damasio’s (1991, 1994, 1999, 2003) claims for the necessity of pre-reflective conscious, emotional, bodily responses for the development of an organism’s core and extended consciousness, I will argue that without these capacities any agent would be incapable of developing the sorts of somatic markers or saliency tags that enable affective reactions, and which are indispensable for effective decision-making and subsequent survival. My position, as presented here, remains agnostic about whether or not the creation of artificial consciousness is an attainable goal.

Published: Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 2010, vol.9, no.1, pp.37-51

Presented at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), Washington, VA., 7-11 November 2007,
and to appear in the Proceedings of FSS-07: AI and Consciousness: Theoretical Foundations and Current Approaches.

Conscious Machines: Memory, Melody and Imagination

The Ontology of Digital Objects

The papers in this section have been co-authored with James Currall and Michael Moss, and in one case also with Arthur Alison.

"Authenticity: a red herring?"


Authenticity is a difficult and taxing notion in both the digital and the analogue world. It is a retrospective and by implication dynamic notion, a reaction to whether or not we are dealing with the genuine article, that an object is what it purports to be at a moment in time and its content can be validated using available technology. It is not an end in itself like a fresh herring, but a red herring which, because of the pungent smell of the smokehouse, can put the hounds off the scent. Moreover it is not an absolute: an object that might appear perfectly authentic from one perspective may be considered to lack suffcient tokens of authenticity in another, and may later from both viewpoints be considered invalid.

Content change may be captured in technologies, but does it necessarily follow that the intellectual content remains the same? Revolutions in technology may change the `container' (for example, a card catalogue becomes a database), but how do such migrations affect content and the procedures and practices that surround it? Is entering entities in a database the same as filling in cards? Distribution channels have always influenced structure and form without necessarily changing intellectual content or associated practice. In addressing such issues we warn against the ever present danger of a collapse into technological determinism with an accompanying utopian optimism.

We propose that discussion of identity needs to shift away from discussion of technologies for preserving information towards characterisation of the persistent intellectual content. In the migration to the digital we are especially concerned with four separate but related issues of identity from this perspective:

We conclude that identity is not a technical issue: notions of identity, like authenticity, are dynamic and have to deal with the non-transitive relations in stages of documents and ob jects. We are convinced that only by adopting such a stance can any progress be made in the sterile debate about digital preservation which logically must be downstream from the resolution of notions of authenticity that themselves are reactive to issues of intellectual content and available technology that following Aristotle we characterize as techné.

Journal of Applied Logic, (2008) 6 pp.534--44; Journal of Applied Logic.

"Digital Identity matters"


Digital objects or entities present us with particular problems of an acute nature. The most acute of these are the issues surrounding what constitutes identity within the digital world and between digital entities. These are problems that are important in many contexts but, when dealing with digital texts, documents and certification, an understanding of them becomes vital legally, philosophically and historically. Legally the central issues are those of authorship and ownership; philosophically we must be concerned with the sorts of logical relations that hold between objects and in determining the ontological nature of the object; and historically our concern centres around our interest in chronology and the recording of progress, adaptation and change.

Our purpose in this current paper is to emphasise why questions of digital identity matter and how we might address and respond to some of them. We will begin by examining the lines along which we draw a distinction between the digital and the physical context and how, by importing notions of transitivity and symmetry from the domain of mathematical logic, we might attempt to provide, at least interim, resolutions of these questions.

"Digital Identity Matters", Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), Forthcoming Spring 2005, Vol. 56, Issue 1

"What is a Collection?"


The word 'collection' has been common currency in what we accept as the real world of objects and events, and has been imported with seemingly little effort into our discourse about the digital world, yet there is no clear definition in either domain of what is meant by the term. We clarify this issue by first examining how the term is used in the contemporary information science literature and then by going on to establish the criteria which are employed in bringing a collection about. We will argue that the assumption that there is a realist permanence or fixity in the world that determines taxonomies is false, and that the only feasible approach to the construction of categories to which objects, whether digital or physical, are allocated is an anti-realist one where attention is paid to the intentions and subsequent decisions of the collector.

"What is a Collection?", Archivaria, Spring 2005, No.58.

"Why Privileging Information is Inevitable"


Libraries, archives and museums have long collected physical materials and other artefacts. In so doing they have established formal or informal policies defining what they will (and will not) collect. We argue that these activities by their very nature privilege some information over others and that the appraisal that underlies this privileging is itself socially constructed. We do not cast this in a post-modernist or negative light, but regard a clear understanding of it as fact and its consequences as crucial to understanding what collections are and what the implications are for the digital world. We will argue that in the digital world it is much easier for users to construct their own collections from a combination of resources, some curated by information professionals and some privileged by the frequency with which other people link to and access them. We conclude that developing these ideas is an important part of placing the concept of a digital or hybrid paper/digital library on a firm foundation.

"Why Privileging Information is Inevitable", Archives and Manuscripts, 2005, 33(2)

Kant's transcendental psychology and artificial intelligence, artificial life and consciousness

"The Binding Problem: Induction, Integration and Imagination"


My concern in this paper is with the binding problem and how information, that is stored across the brain, is integrated into one unitary conscious experience. [In an act of meta-binding] I will draw together the common themes from a diverse body of work that addresses this problem; this work will include Cotterill's neurophysiological approach [1995, 1998], Kantian metaphysics [1929], Sloman's cognitive architecture theory [2003, 2004], Aleksander's engineering approach that entails the integration of cognitive faculties into architectures [2003], and robotics [Brooks 2004; Browning 1998, 2004].

Cotterill claims that consciousness is primarily associated with movement and response, with the necessary co-ordination of movement and response requiring a unity of conscious experience. In muscular movement we ask questions about our world and in its absence - which we can see in people who have lost their proprioceptive sense - we rely on other forms of sensory feedback. [Meijsing 2000] Cotterill suggests that a master node draws together afferent/efferent information into coherent thought and action, and identifies the anterior cingulate as the possible 'site' of consciousness where this activity will come together. Kant's critical philosophy focuses on describing the logically necessary prerequirements for a unity of consciousness, emphasising the role of the cognitive imagination in the act of synthesis. I argue that, like Cotterill, Kant is committed to an active, sensorimotorily enmeshed view of consciousness, so that it must be possible to realise the act of synthesis or binding in some physical system.

Early hybrid cognitive architectures represented knowledge symbolically as rules and facts but had a neurally-based activation process that determined which facts and rules got deployed in which situations. [See ACT-R and SOAR, Anderson 1983, 1990, 1993.] Sloman's Cog-Aff and H Cog-Aff architectures provide a more holistic approach to the requirements for consciousness experience, arguing that both cognitive and affective components must be combined in one architecture. Unlike early architectures H Cog-Aff is not algorithm and representation based, and although Sloman distinguishes between three types of processing and three cognitive levels, he does not offer any explicit account of a central processing element that acts to bind the information so it can be recognised as belonging to one consciousness.

In the applied robotics work of Brett Browning the fusing or integration of information operates on the basis of probability algorithms which must occur in both a temporal and a spatial framework if the system is to act appropriately in real time.

Fundamental to each of these approaches are the notions of embodiment, animation, perception, and imagination, but, in turn, each of these notions requires a system that has (i) the ability to bind its experiences as experience for it, (ii) the ability to order / tag its experience temporally if it is to be able to plan ahead and direct its attention in an effort to sustain its existence, and (iii) some element of affective processing that makes some things more desirable than others and provides the system with a will to act.

References for this abstract:

Aleksander, I. & Dunmall, B. (2003) 'Axioms and Tests for the Presence of Minimal Consciousness in Agents', Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 10, No. 4-5, 2003

Anderson, J. (1983) The Architecture of Cognition, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Anderson, J. (1990) The Adaptive Character of Thought, Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum

Anderson, J. R. (1993) Rules of the Mind, Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum

Brook, A. (1994) Kant and the Mind, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom

Brooks, R. Living Machines Overview, accessed 1st August 2004

Browning, B. (1998) 'Neural systems for integrating robot behaviours', Australian Conference on Neural Networks, 1997, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cotterill, R. M. J. (1995) `On the unity of conscious experience', Journal of Consciousness Studies, Imprint Academic, Vol. 2, No. 4

Cotterill, R. M. J. (1998) Enchanted Looms: Conscious Networks in Brains and Computers. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

Kant, I. (1929) The Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith, Macmillan Press (A edition 1781 + B edition 1787)

Meijsing, M. (2000) `Self-Consciousness and the Body', Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 7, No. 6, pp 34-52

Sloman, A. (2003) Varieties of Affect and Learning in a Complete Human-like Architecture, accessed July 2004

Sloman, A. (2004) The Cognition and Affect Project: Architectures, Architecture-Schemas, And The New Science of Mind, accessed July 2004

Publications in this area

"Unifying Experience: Imagination and Self-Consciousness" is published in The Mind, The Body and the World: Psychology after cognitivism?, Brendan Wallace (ed.) 250 pp., GBP17.95 / USD34.90, 978-1845400736 (pbk.), Sept. 2007

"Unifying Aprroaches to the Unity of Consciousness", Computing, Philosophy and Cognition, L. Magnani & R. Dossena (eds.), King's College Publications, London, (2005), pp. 259-269 ISBN 19-04987-24-9

"A Metaphysical Approach to the Mind", Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 2003, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp. 223-237

"A Kantian Prescription for Artifical Conscious Experience", Leonardo, Vol. 35, No. 4, August 2002

"Kantian Descriptive Metaphysics and Artificial Consciousness", in Art Technology Consciousness, Ed. Roy Ascott, Intellect Books, 2000, pp. 194-99 (ISBN 1-84150-041-0)

"The Kantian Underpinnings of Consciousness", Proceedings of Consciousness Reframed 3, University of Wales College, Newport, August 2000

"Kantian Descriptive Metaphysics and Artificial Intelligence/A-Life", Proceedings of Toward a Science of Consciousness, University of Arizona, Tucson, April 2000

Agency and Embodiment

"Extended Body, Extended Mind: The Self as Prosthesis"


The most we can say about ourselves, at least according to Kant, is that we are logical subjects of thoughts, transcendental unities of apperception, that are logically necessary for the very possibility of coherent cognition. We look for the self, we reflect, and we find no thing, nothing that is the bearer of properties and we try to conjure it up in the concept of a soul or mental thing [Descartes], or a bundle of discrete perceptions [Hume]. As Shakespeare says, there is much ado about no thing, but we are looking in the wrong direction and must reorient ourselves. Self-consciousness requires the existence of a perceiving and conceiving being that acts and interacts with other objects and organisms in an objective world. It requires embodiment and embeddedness within its world; it is 'fallen' [Heidegger], necessarily adaptable, necessarily technological, extending itself through the use of tools, restoring lost functions and replacing lost organs and limbs. But also enhancing and reconfiguring itself, augmenting its capabilities and pushing itself further into its world and away from the first place we look. The self is not the body. The self is not the mind. The self is active agency within the world; it is prosthesis.

We deal with our world through action-feedback loops, trial and error 'back propagation' learning with our environment active in the orchestration of our behaviour. Thus, our cognition is an embedded process: the mind, body and world of the cognitive system interact to such an extent that the traditional boundaries between world and mind no longer exist. Our selves are only conceivable in conjunction with our world, and the roles that technology plays in that conjunction alter irrevocably our perception of our location, extension and limitations.

A prime example of an illusory but compelling sense of 'realness' is offered by haptics technology in the form of haptic devices which provide rich and self-consistent sensory feedback. [Hannaford 2002] The action-feedback loops are closed through computer simulation and provide the agent with an experience that stretches the self out into their world. It is not a physical world and they are only scarcely embodied. In sharp contrast with these augmenting and enhancing technologies I will examine the loss of the proprioceptive sense that brings with it a striking loss of self, and I will demonstrate how, through a rekindled impression of embodied animation, virtual reality models can reintroduce that sense of life and self to the individual who feels disembodied, absent and 'dead'. [Meijsing 2000]

Publications in this area

"Extended Body, Extended Mind: The Self as Prosthesis", as a chapter in Screen Consciousness: Mind, Cinema and World, Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi (2006) ISBN: 90-420-2016-4

"The Self as an Embedded Agent", Minds and Machines, 13 (2): 187 - 201, May 2003

"A Radical Notion of Embeddedness: A Logically Necessary Precondition for Agency and Self-Awareness", in Cyber Philosophy: the intersection of computing and philosophy, (Ed. James H. Moor and Terrell Ward Bynum), Blackwell 2002, pgs.93-103, (ISBN 1-40510-073-7)

"A Radical Notion of Embeddedness: A Logically Necessary Precondition for Agency and Self-Awareness", The Journal of Metaphilosophy, 2002, 33 (1/2): pp. 98-109

"Embodiment, Self-Awareness and Embedded Agency', Towards a Science of Consciousness, Skovde, Sweden, 6th - 11th August, 2001

"The Embedded Self-Aware Agent", The Extended Mind: The Very Idea, Philosophical Perspectives on Situated and Embodied Cognition, University of Hertfordshire. 29th June - 1st July 2001

"Logical Criteria for Self-Awareness in Artificial and Natural Agents", Computing and Philosophy, Oregon State University, 18th - 21st January, 2001

"Embodiment and Agency" Proceedings of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Salzburg, September, 2000

Ethics and Artificial Intelligence / Artificial Life

"Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life - should artificial systems have rights?" (PDF)

This paper appeared on eAI as part of the original cyber-forum in 2000. It was previously published in The Oyster Club (1995), a Department of Philosophy, University of Glasgow, magazine.

Animal Minds

Deception, cognitive ethology and autism

"The Role of Deception in Complex Social Interaction", Cogito Vol. 12, No. 1, 1998

"Do Animals Have Souls?", Philosophy and Religion Seminar, University of Glasgow, 3rd March 2003

Philosophy Teaching and Technology

"Using an electronic voting system in logic lectures: one practitioner's application", Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 2004, Vol 20, Issue 2, pp. 95-102

"Why on earth would you ask philosophy students to design web pages?", (forthcoming APA Newsletter, Spring 2004 )

"Traditional and non-traditional resources: providing a well-supported learning environment", Association of Learning Technology Journal - Alt-J, January 2004, Issue 11.3, pp. 58-68

"An Electronically Enhanced Philosophy Learning Environment" Presented at

"Cyberspace and Critical Thinking", Inquiry, 18:4, Summer 1999

"Web-Based Learning in Philosophy", Fall 1999 Issue, APA Newsletter

"Philosophy on the Web", Computers and Texts Initiative, Oxford, 1999


"The Role of Non-Standard Forms of Perlocutionary Act in Hush", co-authored with Dr Alice Jenkins, presented at Blood, Text and Fears: Reading Around Buffy the Vampire Slayer, at UEA, 19-20 October 2002. Published in Slayage, The On-line International Journal of Buffy Studies, No. 9, 2003

Models of Advance Directives

This is a Nuffield Funded Project on which I collaborated with Jacqueline Atkinson, Helen Garner and Hilary Patrick. The Project was based in the Department Health and Health Policy, Division of Community Based Sciences, University of Glasgow.

"The development of potential models of advance directives in mental health care", Journal of Mental Health 2003, Volume 12, No.6, pp. 575-84 Abstract here

"Issues in the Development of Advance Directives in Mental Health Care", Journal of Mental Health 2003, Vol.12 No. 5, pp. 463-74