ISSA Meetups

January 21, 2016 – One-day ISSA workshop at ELSI, Tokyo

One-day meeting with Piet Hut, Olaf Witkowski, Katsunori Miyahara, and more people from Tokyo. The purpose was to discuss possible connections between the philosophical approach of phenomenology and the mathematical theory of category theory. The trigger is the recent paper by Nao Tsuchiya, Shigeru Taguchi and Hayato Saigo:

and this will give us a nice opportunity to have some tutorial lectures
on various related topics, by Nao Tsuchiya via Skype, and by Hayato Saigo,
Shigeru Taguchi and Ryota Kanai in person. During and after these various
lectures, there will already be plenty of discussion time built in, and at
the end we will hold a broad group’s discussion. Finally, we will combine
this day meeting with Ryota’s weekly Consciousness Club meeting.


ELSI, on the Ookayama campus of Tokyo Tech. See the map on — we will meet in ELSI-1
(Ishikawadai building 7, the new ELSI building), room 205,
which is also called seminar room A.


10:00: Nao Tsuchiya presents the main ideas in their recent paper
10:30: Hayato Saigo gives an introduction to category theory
11:30: lunch break
13:30: Shigeru Taguchi gives an introduction to phenomenology theory
14:30: Ryota Kanai gives an introduction to predictive coding / free energy
15:30: break
16:00: general discussion
17:00: end of workshop (followed by finding something to eat perhaps?)
19:00: Ryota’s Consciousness Club: Piet Hut will talk about his views on
phenomenology, followed by a visit to some izakaya, as is Ryota’s
tradition for the Consciousness Club

December 4-7, 2015 – Informal ISSA gathering in Montreal

Jelle Bruineberg stayed for a weekend at Liza Solomonova’s, where we had a great dinner with a bunch of philosophers, neuroscientists and anthropologists – or rather everyone was some non-linear combination of these three principal components. During the dishes we talked about ISSA and our potential role in it.

November 2-6, 2015 – ISSA gathering in Princeton, New Jersey.

Piet Hut, Eran Agmon and Jelle Bruineberg. Jeff Ames was also there for a day. The aim was partially to discuss more about the future of ISSA. We all gave a short presentation on our research topics. A regular visitor of Piet’s, Donato Giovanelli, was there as well and talked about the ecobiology of the deep sea and how important it is to send humans down there. Absolutely fascinating. The Princeton woods were at its most beautiful autumn orange, and luckily there was some time to walk. Piet, Eran and me had a meeting about the future of ISSA.

October 23-25, 2015 – ISSA retreat in Bloomington, Indiana.

Eran Agmon, Kevin Ryan, Eva Poland, Farshid and Jelle Bruineberg. Bonfire in the Indiana woods, some beers, and reminisced about our summer visit to Kobe. We recalled the diverse set lectures on topics such as integrated information, neural correlates of consciousness, and phenomenology. Great laid back and informal discussions.

October 8, 2015 – Workshop on “Affordances and brain-body‐environment systems” in Cincinnati

Eran Agmon and Jelle Bruineberg gave presentations. Shaun Gallagher and Kevin Ryan were there as well. The aim of the meeting was to discuss a number of central questions to the field: 1) How is it possible to be selectively open to only the relevant affordances in the environment? 2) Can we understand the social and normative character of everyday action in terms of dynamical systems? 3) To what extent are computational and dynamicist understandings of a systems compatible? – a topic we talked quite a bit about at the summer school.