Thinking with Shaun Gallagher

Workshop on Philosophy of Embodiment, Self andAgency - 1& 2 March

This workshop will use the work of Shaun Gallagher, especially from his 2005 book How the Body Shapes the Mind as a jumping off point to discuss important themes in contemporary philosophy, namely questions around embodiment, self and agency.

Gallagher will give two talks at the workshop as follows:


11.00 to 12.30, March 1st: Embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended mindreading


Abstract: In this presentation I'll review some ongoing interdisciplinary debates in social cognition, offer some critiques of the standard and dominant Theory of Mind approaches, and outline an alternative theory framed in terms of recent work on embodied and enactive cognition. The alternative account explains the earliest forms of interaction in infancy and offers a narrative (rather than a folk psychology or simulationist) model of mature social understanding.


10.30 to 12.00, March 2nd: Misidentifying the self in experimental and pathological situations


Abstract: In this presentation I'll review a number of pathological and experimental situations in which either the sense of agency or the sense of ownership is disrupted. I'll defend the view that immunity to error through misidentification (IEM) is nonetheless sustained in all of these cases to the extent that the first-person perspective is sustained. I'll discuss at least one case, however, in which the first-person perspective in experience seems to be problematic and IEM seems to be clearly challenged.

The way workshop is structured is that Gallagher will give a talk each morning and then researchers from the IFL´s Cognitive Foundations of the Self project will use Gallagher´s ideas, especially from his 2005 book How the Body Shapes the Mind, as a jumping off point for further exploration of the themes of the conference. João Fonseca, Alexander Gerner, Robert Clowes, Jorge Gonçalves and Dina Mendonça will all present their ongoing work around the main conference themes. For more detail on papers and abstracts see: The workshop timetable allows plenty of time for extended discussion.

Participation at this workshop is open to other researchers although will be limited to around 20 participants. The session on the first morning however is a public lecture. Those who would like to participate at the workshop are invited to send email to Robert Clowes to register their interest. The conference language is English.

Location: Faculty of Social and Human Sciences (New University of Lisbon), I&D Building - Room Multiusos 3, 4thFloor

Entrance to the workshop is free but to register please send email to

This workshop is part of the Portuguese Government funded project on the Cognitive Foundations of the Self: