Miguel Segundo-Ortin

Miguel Segundo-Ortin
Utrecht University | UU · Philosophy and Religious Studies

PhD in Philosophy

About

17
Publications
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Introduction
I work in the philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences from an embodied and situated perspective. My primary research interests are the complementarities and tensions between ecological psychology and enactivism, the philosophy of minimal cognition (with a particular emphasis on plants), and the relationship between socio-cultural norms, perception, and individual agency. I hold a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Wollongong, under the supervision of Prof. Daniel D. Hutto, Dr. Michael Kirchhoff, and Dr. Glenda Satne (as an associate supervisor)

Publications

Publications (17)
Article
According to F. Adams [this journal, vol. 68, 2018] cognition cannot be realized in plants or bacteria. In his view, plants and bacteria respond to the here-and-now in a hardwired, inflexible manner, and are therefore incapable of cognitive activity. This article takes issue with the pursuit of plant cognition from the perspective of an empirically...
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Ecological psychology is one of the most influential theories of perception in the embodied, anti-representational, and situated cognitive sciences. However, radical enactivists claim that Gibsonians tend to describe ecological information and its ‘pick up’ in ways that make ecological psychology close to representational theories of perception and...
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Similarity-based cognition is commonplace. It occurs whenever an agent or system exploits the similarities that hold between two or more items—e.g., events, processes, objects, and so on—in order to perform some cognitive task. This kind of cognition is of special interest to cognitive neuroscientists. This paper explicates how similarity-based cog...
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Explaining agency is a significant challenge for those who are interested in the sciences of the mind, and non-representationalists are no exception to this. Even though both ecological psychologists and enactivists agree that agency is to be explained by focusing on the relation between the organism and the environment, they have approached it by...
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Non-representational approaches to cognition have struggled to provide accounts of long-term planning that forgo the use of representations. An explanation comes easier for cognitivist accounts, which hold that we concoct and use contentful mental representations as guides to coordinate a series of actions towards an end state. One non-representati...
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We explore the nature of expert minds in skilled performance by examining classic Japanese dramatist Zeami’s account of skilled expertise in Noh drama. Zeami characterizes expert minds by the co-existence of mushin and riken no ken. Mushin (“no-mind”) is an empty state of mind devoid of mental contents. Riken no ken (“seeing with a separate seeing”...
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Although it is a common claim in the ecological psychology literature that our perception of the environment’s affordances is influenced by socio-cultural norms, an explanation of how this is possible remains to be offered. In this paper, I outline an account of this phenomenon by focusing on the ecological theory of perceptual learning. Two main t...
Chapter
Cognitivist approaches to joint attention conceptualize it as a form of triangular interaction, between two agents and one object. When describing the interpersonal dimension of this triangle they frame it as a form of simulation, theorizing or both, involving representations of the other agent’s mental states - representation of representations -...
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A widely shared assumption in the literature about skilled motor behavior is that any action that is not blindly automatic and mechanical must be the product of computational processes upon mental representations. To counter this assumption, in this paper we offer a radical embodied (non-representational) account of skilled action that combines eco...
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Unlike animal behavior, behavior in plants is traditionally assumed to be completely determined either genetically or environmentally. Under this assumption, plants are usually considered to be noncognitive organisms. This view nonetheless clashes with a growing body of empirical research that shows that many sophisticated cognitive capabilities tr...
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This special issue highlights the growing interdisciplinary interest in minimal cognition, bringing together a number of philosophers and scientists interested in investigating where, how, and why cognition arises. In what follows, we introduce the topic of minimal cognition by giving a brief look at debates and discussions about the lower bounds o...
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In this paper, we evaluate the pragmatic turn towards embodied, enactive thinking in cognitive science, in the context of recent empirical research on the memory palace technique. The memory palace is a powerful method for remembering yet it faces two problems. First, cognitive scientists are currently unable to clarify its efficacy. Second, the te...
Article
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This paper motivates taking seriously the possibility that brains are basically protean: that they make use of neural structures in inventive, on-the-fly improvisations to suit circumstance and context. Accordingly, we should not always expect cognition to divide into functionally stable neural parts and pieces. We begin by reviewing recent work in...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Our goal is to formulate an understanding of human agency and self-control from the perspective of situated cognition. We propose to see self-control as a distinctive type of relation between agents and their environment and conceive it the capacity of an agent to actively modulate (restrict, enlarge, recalibrate) the action possibilities offered by the environment. This project is funded by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek VIDI Research Project (VI.VIDI.195.116) to Dr. Kalis
Project
This is an ongoing project that involves the organization of several workshops, an upcoming special issue in Adaptive Behavior, an extensive literature review, and several planned articles.