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Workshop - The Synthetic Modelling of Life and Cognition: Epistemological, Social and Ethical Issues

October 6, 2012 (Saturday) Meeting Room 2, 3rd floor, Academia Ritsumei 21, Kinugasa Campus, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto


◆Workshop
Saturday, October 6, 10:00 - 18:00
Meeting Room 2, 3rd floor, Academia Ritsumei 21, Kinugasa Campus, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto.
[ACCESS: Ritsumeikan University, Kinugasa Campus]

The Synthetic Modelling of Life and Cognition: Epistemological, Social and Ethical Issues

“Understanding by building” is the promise of the “synthetic approach”, the methodology by which the sciences of the artificial intend to contribute to scientific research on life and on cognition. Over the last decades considerable work has been done by specialists to define ways to “synthetically” explore life and cognition, leading to a proliferation of “software”, “hardware” and “wetware” implementations (i.e., computer simulations, robotic platforms and artificial chemical systems) conceived and used as scientific models of natural living and cognitive phenomena. Can systems endowed with artificial “embodiments” and “embedments” be effective models of natural living and cognitive processes? In what conditions and in what ways can the synthetic exploration of life and cognition provide significant contributions to biological, behavioural, cognitive and social sciences? Are there criteria which warrant a positive transmission of knowledge from sciences of the artificial to sciences of the natural with regard to living and cognitive phenomena?

The central idea of the workshop is that of short presentations 20 to 30 minutes followed by extensive discussions. Though the focus of the workshop’s presentations is epistemological issues, questions should also be directed to the social and ethical consequences of creating synthetic life or agents.

PROGRAM:
10:00 Introduction: Paul Dumouchel (Ristumeikan University)
Models and Mimesis

10:30 Luisa Damiano (University of Bergamo, Italy)
The Synthetic Methodology: epistemological features of a constructivist approach to the scientific exploration of nature

11:30 Hagen Lehmann (University of Hertfordshire, UK)
Synthetic explorations of natural social behaviours

12:30 - 14:00 Lunch

14:00 Pasquale Stano (University of Rome Three, Italy)
Artificial models of natural cells: towards communication between artificial and natural cells

15:00 Yutetsu Kuruma (Tokyo University)
Artificial models of cellular membranes

16:00 - General Discussion

Organisers: Luisa Damiano, Epistemology of the Sciences of the Artificial Research Group, Department of Human Sciences, University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy and Paul Dumouchel, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. Organised with the support of Ritsumeikan University Ars Vivendi Research Centre.

* There is no parking available at the venue, so please use public transportation.



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