Skip to main content

About this Research Topic

Abstract Submission Deadline 31 August 2023
Manuscript Submission Deadline 31 December 2023

A fundamental fact about human cognition and consciousness is that we are agents. We do things in the world and to a great extent experience the world and ourselves via our agentive interactions. Recently, the discussion of agency as grounding cognition and consciousness has increasingly taken place in the context of 4E cognition which contends that cognition is embodied, enacted, embedded, and extended. According to 4E cognition, affordances are a key explanatory concept in building an agentive framework for cognition and consciousness. The notion of affordances has been developed within 4E cognition to establish the following claims - (i) all cognition is to be fundamentally understood in terms of our agentive capacities and (ii) agency is to be necessarily understood in terms of robust embodied cognition. Thus 4E cognition agentive theories of cognition and consciousness base their accounts on robust embodied cognition and affordances as robustly embodied possibilities of interaction.

We propose to revisit the tight coupling between agency, embodiment, and affordances as found in the 4E cognition movement. Our point of departure is inspired by contemporary technological and theoretical developments that make the field ripe for exploring what it is to be an agent in the world we currently inhabit and what it could mean to be an agent in the future. We propose to investigate agency as a multifarious phenomenon and critically examine whether situating the discussion of agency primarily within robust embodied cognition frameworks satisfactorily captures the rapidly changing and intricately nuanced dimensions of agency as grounding cognition and consciousness. In the course of our investigations we also propose to revisit the notion of affordances as tightly linked to embodied capacities, and analyze whether the changing nature of our interactions with the world is best captured in terms of what the world offers to an embodied agent or in terms of interaction possibilities defined in terms of bodily representations. We aim to structure the discussions of varieties of agency primarily around recent developments on the following themes - digital agency, social agency, mental agency, and aesthetics.

The Research Topic will foster a debate engaging scholars from psychology, philosophy, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and social anthropology, among others, with a particular focus on the following research topics and questions - (i) Digital agency where the contributions focus on the transformation of agency in the context of rapidly developing digital technologies, (ii) Social agency in a rapidly transforming world, (iii) Mental agency where the contributions focus on recent theories that argue that there are non-bodily, cognitive affordances for mental actions, and (iv) Aesthetics where there has been a surge in robust embodied cognition theories of agency. We also encourage contributions that examine further phenomena that shed new light on relations between agency, embodiment and affordance, and contributions that take a broader approach to discuss how the nature and interconnections between agency and embodiment change across different forms of affordances. We would like to invite original research manuscripts.

Keywords: Agency, Embodiment, Affordances, Digital, Social, Mental, Aesthetics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

A fundamental fact about human cognition and consciousness is that we are agents. We do things in the world and to a great extent experience the world and ourselves via our agentive interactions. Recently, the discussion of agency as grounding cognition and consciousness has increasingly taken place in the context of 4E cognition which contends that cognition is embodied, enacted, embedded, and extended. According to 4E cognition, affordances are a key explanatory concept in building an agentive framework for cognition and consciousness. The notion of affordances has been developed within 4E cognition to establish the following claims - (i) all cognition is to be fundamentally understood in terms of our agentive capacities and (ii) agency is to be necessarily understood in terms of robust embodied cognition. Thus 4E cognition agentive theories of cognition and consciousness base their accounts on robust embodied cognition and affordances as robustly embodied possibilities of interaction.

We propose to revisit the tight coupling between agency, embodiment, and affordances as found in the 4E cognition movement. Our point of departure is inspired by contemporary technological and theoretical developments that make the field ripe for exploring what it is to be an agent in the world we currently inhabit and what it could mean to be an agent in the future. We propose to investigate agency as a multifarious phenomenon and critically examine whether situating the discussion of agency primarily within robust embodied cognition frameworks satisfactorily captures the rapidly changing and intricately nuanced dimensions of agency as grounding cognition and consciousness. In the course of our investigations we also propose to revisit the notion of affordances as tightly linked to embodied capacities, and analyze whether the changing nature of our interactions with the world is best captured in terms of what the world offers to an embodied agent or in terms of interaction possibilities defined in terms of bodily representations. We aim to structure the discussions of varieties of agency primarily around recent developments on the following themes - digital agency, social agency, mental agency, and aesthetics.

The Research Topic will foster a debate engaging scholars from psychology, philosophy, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and social anthropology, among others, with a particular focus on the following research topics and questions - (i) Digital agency where the contributions focus on the transformation of agency in the context of rapidly developing digital technologies, (ii) Social agency in a rapidly transforming world, (iii) Mental agency where the contributions focus on recent theories that argue that there are non-bodily, cognitive affordances for mental actions, and (iv) Aesthetics where there has been a surge in robust embodied cognition theories of agency. We also encourage contributions that examine further phenomena that shed new light on relations between agency, embodiment and affordance, and contributions that take a broader approach to discuss how the nature and interconnections between agency and embodiment change across different forms of affordances. We would like to invite original research manuscripts.

Keywords: Agency, Embodiment, Affordances, Digital, Social, Mental, Aesthetics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Topic Editors

Loading..

Topic Coordinators

Loading..

Articles

Sort by:

Loading..

Authors

Loading..

views

total views views downloads topic views

}
 
Top countries
Top referring sites
Loading..

Share on

About Frontiers Research Topics

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.