The Center Leo Apostel (CLEA) is a transdisciplinary, interfaculty research center at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). CLEA’s mission is to bridge the different scientific, social and cultural disciplines. It was founded in 1995 under the impulse of the Belgian philosopher Leo Apostel (1925-1995). He formulated the goal of CLEA as the integration of the different disciplines into a coherent worldview, so as to counteract the current fragmentation into ever more specialized approaches. Next to worldviews, our research addresses fundamental interdisciplinary issues, including complexity, systems, evolution, quantum entanglement, cognition, artscience and well-being.
We call our research philosophy "thinking beyond boundaries". Thanks to this philosophy, CLEA has attracted and trained a large number of talented researchers from the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences and engineering, representing countries from across the globe. CLEA is now internationally recognized as a unique, transdisciplinary research center with a steady output of high-level, innovative publications.
What is an object that an observer can observe and what is an observer that can observe an object? A minor line of thought in second-order cybernetics radically subverts the way in which this question is posed: What is an object that can observe an observer; and what is an observer that an object can observe? This bizarre inversion is rooted in an ontology that takes observation as a primitive concept, and both objects and observers as modes of existence of the observation. In this seminar, Luca Fabbris will focus on the theoretical implications of this line of thought which recognizes the autonomy of objects and offers a theoretical framework that combines both object-oriented and process/action-oriented ontologies.
Where do we come from? Where are we going? What is our role in life? Traditionally, religious worldviews answer such big questions through myths and rituals. These mythic narratives - that we call...
Enactivism is the view that cognition emerges from the interaction between an acting organism and its surroundings. An organism does not passively receive information from its environment, but generates meaning or ‘enacts’ a world through its sensorimotor activity. Enactivists oppose a universalist view on mind and meaning and appeal to context in their attempt to do so, just like cultural relativists do. In this presentation, Kato Van Roey will clarify how enactivism and cultural relativism relate by carefully scrutinizing their similarities and differences. Van Roey proposes that enactivism necessarily entails a form of cultural relativism because of its focus on context, yet one that is rid of uncomfortable consequences.