Is Cognition Still in the Wild ? - The Hutchins Masterclass

Practical information
03 October 2018

EHESS, 54 boulevard Raspail, 75006 Paris
Rooms AS1_24 (9am-7pm, main meeting room) and AS1_08 / AS1_23 de (12pm-5pm, breakout groups meeting rooms)


Is Cognition Still in the Wild ?

A Tribute to Ed Hutchins 25 years after the publication of Cognition in the Wild

Paris, EHESS and ENS

Ed Hutchins, former Head of the Department of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego, and former director of the Distributed Cognition and Human Computer Interaction Laboratory at UC San Diego, is a cognitive anthropologist who has published period contributions in three domains : legal negotiation, cognitive artifacts, and distributed cognition. His early work was on the logic of legal discourse in the Trobriand islands system of dispute settlement. His monumental Cognition in the Wild, published in 1994, is one of the most influential books of the last century. The result of a long field study, both on Micronesian navigation and on a vessel of the US Navy, it both documents in detail a complex (now lost) navigational practice, and introduces distributed cognition in a way that – together with a number of articles on cognitive artifacts – has paved the way to theories of the extended mind. 25 years later on, where does the discussion stand on the Hutchins heritage ?

Institut Jean Nicod organizes three events over two days.

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

EHESS, 54 boulevard Raspail, 75006 Paris
Rooms AS1_24 (9am-7pm, main meeting room) and AS1_08 / AS1_23 de (12pm-5pm, breakout groups meeting rooms)
The Hutchins Masterclass

This day-long event will host up to 20 researchers (MA students, PhD Students, confirmed researchers) to discuss Ed Hutchins’ work in his presence. Prospective participants are invited to submit an application via the form. Deadline for submissions : July 31st. Participation confirmation will be sent about August 15th.

How does this work ? Selected participants will receive a link to selected publications, and will be requested to send a set of questions by September 10th. These questions will be forwarded to Professor Hutchins. On the Masterclass day (Oct 3rd), he will open the meeting by briefly recalling the Theoretical preliminaries and addressing the questions sent. We shall then choose some topics for three breakout groups. Groups will meet in the early afternoon and then present a synthesis of their discussions in a final plenary session. Lunch will be served. The event is free. Participants agree on reading the material, sending their questions, and attending the whole event.

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

ENS, Salle Jaurès, 29 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris
Morning 9:30am-11:30am

Cognition in the WiNd.

Ed Hutchins defines himself as “a lifelong surfer, sailor, an ocean lover”. Many researchers turn out to be passionate sailors – even though they do not do specific research on sailing or navigation. We invited some of them to a panel to share and shape research ideas on navigation based on their personal experience and their theoretical insight.

Introduction : Ed Hutchins (UCSD) : How the activity of sailing presents challenges for cognitive science
Laurent Cohen (Département de Neurologie, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière)
Francesca Cozzolino (Ensadlab-Université PSL/Lesc-Université Paris Nanterre)
Beatrice Fraenkel (Centre Maurice Halbwachs, EHESS)

Valeria Giardino (AHP-PReST, Nancy) : Anchors in Mathematics
Hugo Mercier (Nicod) : Reason in the Wild

Afternoon 2:30p-6p

Bernard Conein (Nice) : Opening address
Jacques Theuereau (IRCAM Paris) : The Hutchins Heritage

Edwin Hutchins (UCSD) : How do the current rapid changes in measurement technologies impact on the cognitive and social sciences ?

Free and open to all, but registration necessary. Please register at : registration website.

Funded by programs DEC ENS New Ideas ; IRIS PSL Création Cognition Société ; PSL NYU Disorientation remediation, in the framework of Roberto Casati’s seminars on Cognitive artifacts : A Theory of Design and its Social Consequences and Disorientation : Past, present, future.