Institut Jean Nicod

Accueil > Séminaires/Colloques > Séminaires > ICARUS > ICARUS



Le séminaire ICARUS (Imagination, Créativité, Affect, Rêverie, Utopie, Sens) se concentrera sur l’étude interdisciplinaire de la ligne frontière qui sépare, pour notre esprit, la réalité de tout ce qui la transcende. En faisant dialoguer la philosophie et les sciences cognitives, nous explorerons les capacités et les états (notamment l’imagination et le rêve) qui nous permettent de réélaborer les données sensorielles et affectives et d’appréhender le monde sous de nouveaux angles, voire d’autres mondes ou utopies. Entraîné dans ses vagabondages, dans ses rêveries, l’esprit est capable de produire des idées ou objets jugés inédits et de valeur, c’est-à-dire de faire preuve de créativité. Mais jusqu’où peut nous conduire cette force que nous avons reçue en tant qu’espèce (et peut-être pas seulement nous, les êtres humains) ? Il est recommandé de ne pas voler trop près du soleil. 


Lieu : Salle de réunion de l’Institut Jean Nicod

Horaire : 15h-17h (attention aux exceptions)

Contacts : Margherita Arcangeli, Jérôme Dokic



Prochaines sessions



Simona Chiodo (PoliMI)

"Ce que « l’art » de l’IA peut nous apprendre sur l’art"

03 juin 2024, de 10h à 12h exceptionnellement

Ces dernières années, l’utilisation des mots « AI art », c’est-à-dire l’art produit par l’intelligence artificielle, a augmenté de façon exponentielle. Parfois, ils ont été utilisés sans conscience philosophique, du discours public à la littérature strictement technologique. Parfois, ils ont commencé à entrer dans le débat philosophique, de la philosophie de la technologie à la philosophie de l’art. Je réfléchirai à l’art de l’IA en combinant mon expertise en philosophie de la technologie et en philosophie de l’art, ce qui a caractérisé mon travail de philosophe au fil des ans. Plus précisément, je réfléchirai à l’art de l’IA comme une opportunité de remettre en question davantage ce que nous entendons lorsque nous utilisons le mot « art ». Tout d’abord, je préciserai quel type d’art de l’IA je considère. Deuxièmement, j’analyserai la raison la plus importante pour laquelle les artefacts de l’IA sont définis comme de l’art. Enfin, j’utiliserai des expériences de pensée pour affirmer que les artefacts de l’IA ne peuvent pas être définis comme de l’art, et je conclurai en me demandant ce que l’utilisation des mots « art de l’IA » peut nous montrer à la fois sur l’art et sur notre ère technologique.



Anciennes sessions



Peter Hacker (St John’s College - Oxford, UCL)

"On Dreams and dreaming"

22 avril 2024

The expression ’to dream’ and its cognates are examined, and different senses distinguished. Global dream scepticism is rejected. Cartesian dream scepticism is examined and Descartes’s refutation of it is found faulty. Nevertheless the idea that we cannot know whether we are dreaming or waking is repudiated.

Scepticism about dreaming, however, is far more interesting. It raises doubts about whether we ever dream. Is what we call ’dreaming’ not merely a post-sleep mnemonic hallucination ? This idea is explored. It is argued that this is an alternative form of representation. It is not false, but it is not our form of representation. The conclusion defended is that the contention that dreams occur during sleep is not itself an empirical claim. It is in fact a convention of representation, for which a commonly unexamined price is paid.

Session annulée 

Mike T. Stuart (University of Leeds)

"In terms of imagination, science is bad comedy improv"

25 mars 2024

There is no particular scientific method. If we could form a government to rule science, it should be anarchist, not democratic. Science does not produce objective statements of fact, but stories whose value depends on the audience. These claims earned Paul Feyerabend the title “the worst enemy of science.” Academics and elites responded mostly with continued support for a policy of dogmatism : if we can just force everyone to believe in the objectivity of science, everything will be fine. But the benefits of this strategy for science and society are dubious. In this talk, I recommend we reconsider a theme from Feyerabend’s later work : looking at the epistemology of art as a toolbox for the epistemology of science. Feyerabend argued that science deals in stories, and that representations are “theatrical.” So, what makes a good story ? What should their genre be ? What makes good theatre ? What is the proper role for humour and emotion in science ? Pointing the way forward, I show that Feyerabend’s answers all revolve around the imagination, whose sanctity and freedom he relentlessly defended. To move forward, I first identify the many kinds and uses of imagination that have been proposed since Feyerabend, and then use these to inform an account of creative scientific problem-solving at the cutting edge of science which portrays it as (being like) (comedy) improv. I close by considering the epistemological and ethical consequences of such a view.

Elisabeth Schellekens (University of Uppsala)

"What Do We Owe Beautiful Objects – A Case for Aesthetic Obligation"

11 mars 2024, exceptionnellement de 10h à 12h

This paper has two main aims. The first is to examine our normative relations to artworks and cultural artefacts where these are threatened by damage or destruction. The second aim is to develop an argument for the notion of aesthetic obligation, offering an alternative model of explanation of such relations which relies neither exclusively on the object of appreciation nor on the appreciating subject. Instead, an aesthetic obligation is held to be directed primarily towards the aesthetic community which appreciates the object of appreciation for its aesthetic value. What unites the aesthetic community is that it values the object in question in virtue of its aesthetic character. As an aesthetic agent, I have an obligation towards that community to the extent that I have formed some kind of significant relationship with it, or sought membership of it.

Thomas Andrillon (INSERM, ICM)

"Rêves et rêveries : les frontières poreuses entre veille et sommeil"

26 février 2024

Sleep and wakefulness are not mutually exclusive, all-or-nothing phenomena. Rather, both during sleep and wakefulness, regional brain activity can contrast with the global state of an individual. For example, individuals getting tired can show a pattern of brain activity reminiscent of sleep, in the form of low-frequency high-amplitude slow waves, while still behaviorally and physiologically awake. In wakefulness, these slow waves interfere with cognitive processes leading to impulsive responses or slow responses. Sleep-like slow waves have been paired with periods of neuronal silencing, which could explain their association with lapses of attention. These slow waves have also been associated with changes in subjective experience as they predict instances of mind wandering or even mind blanking. Here I will present a set of new studies that sought to better characterize these slow waves in wakefulness and their link with fluctuations of consciousness during the day.

Mathias Thaler (University of Edinburgh)

"No Other Planet : Introduction and discussion"

12 février 2024, exceptionnellement de 10h à 12h

Visions of utopia – some hopeful, others fearful – have become increasingly prevalent in recent times. No Other Planet (CUP 2022) examines expressions of the utopian imagination with a focus on the pressing challenge of how to inhabit a climate-changed world. Forms of social dreaming are tracked across two domains : political theory and speculative fiction. The analysis aims to both uncover the key utopian and dystopian tendencies in contemporary debates around the Anthropocene ; as well as to develop a political theory of radical transformation that avoids not only debilitating fatalism but also wishful thinking. No Other Planet juxtaposes theoretical interventions, from Bruno Latour to the members of the Dark Mountain collective, with fantasy and science fiction texts by N. K. Jemisin, Kim Stanley Robinson and Margaret Atwood, debating viable futures for a world that will look and feel very different from the one we live in right now.

Julia Langkau (Université de Genève)

"Creative Uses of Imagination"

29 janvier 2024

For most philosophers of creativity, a mental process is only creative if there is a creative product at the end of it. Noël Carroll and Jacob Bronowski have argued that an audience’s response to artworks can be creative in the sense that understanding the artwork means re-creating it. I will argue that we should understand creative processes independently of any kind of output, and that we should define the creative process through the role of the imagination. Berys Gaut and Michael Beaney have discussed different models concerning the role of imagination in creating : imagination could either display ideas, or search for ideas, or connect different ideas. I will argue that instead of thinking of different models of which only one can be correct, we should think of different functions the imagination can take in creative processes. Once we look at the role of imagination in terms of different functions, we can see that these functions are at work even in processes that don’t lead to an output.

Margherita Arcangeli (EHESS, IJN)

"The Relationship(s) between Imagination and Creativity"

04 décembre 2023

Imagination and creativity seem so inextricably intertwined. This strong tie is entrenched in ordinary language and illustrious philosophical theories of the past. Yet, quite surprisingly, contemporary philosophers have paid little attention to it. A possible explanation lies in the received view according to which imagination is neither sufficient nor necessary for creativity. In this talk I build a bridge between the philosophy of creativity and the philosophy of imagination to show that an informed view on what creativity and imagination are is likely to change how we see their relationship, questioning the insufficiency/nonnecessity claim.

Sam Wilkinson (University of Exeter)

"Predictive Processing, Imagery and Imagination"

20 novembre, salle Camille Marbo, de 10h à 12h exceptionnellement

Several of the most prominent proponents (Hohwy 2013, Clark 2016) of predictive processing claim that predictive processing is particularly well placed to explain imagination : it involves generating the predictive hypothesis in a decoupled manner by turning down the gain on prediction error. As we proposed in Jones and Wilkinson (2020), this conflates imagery and imagination. While predictive processing might be good at explaining imagery, imagery is not sufficient for imagination, nor, arguably, is it even necessary. In this seminar I present the many things that a predictive processing account would need to accommodate in order to properly give an account of imagination. What emerges is a view of imagination that is both adverbialist (an organism is imagining if and only if they are doing something imaginatively) and enculturated (extended creative practices give rise to imagination and not vice versa).

Sam Wilkinson (University of Exeter)

"Predictive Processing and Psychosis" 

13 novembre, salle Ferdinand Berthier

One of the many appealing things about predictive processing is that it represents a point of convergence between several disciplines working independently, including embodied philosophy of cognitive science, neural networks and machine learning, as well as biological psychiatry. In this seminar, I present the different ways in which predictive processing, and, in particular, the hypothesized role of dopamine in “precision-weighting”, has been used to explain psychosis. In this context it has been used to explain delusions and hallucinations, but the standard way of accounting for these has problems and limitations. A recent development that we have proposed (in Rappe and Wilkinson 2022) overcomes these.

Sam Wilkinson (University of Exeter)

"Introduction to Predictive Processing"

30 octobre 2023

The Predictive Processing Framework (Friston 2005, Clark 2013, Hohwy 2013) is an increasingly popular and revolutionary way of thinking about the brain and cognition. According to it, the brain’s main task is not to process inputs from the outside world, but to predict future activity at many hierarchical timescales. This boils down to the dictum, “All the brain ever does is minimize prediction error”. This framework has wide-ranging consequences for our understanding of perception, action, mental imagery, and many other things besides. In this seminar I introduce predictive processing, elucidate various different versions of it, and raise some potential concerns for it.

Margherita Arcangeli & Jérôme Dokic

Séance introductive

16 octobre 2023