We are organizing our work around the following working axes:
NOTION of EXPERIENCE
The notions of experience and subjectivity have different meanings and connotations according to the discipline or context in which they are used.
How does the "embodied approach" to experience relate (differ/agree) with other conceptions of experience, e.g., empiricist/positivist, (neo)Kantian/"classical transcendentalist", social-constructivist, etc.? In what way does it shed new light on the structure/dynamics of experience? What epistemological/metaphysical implications does this entail?
What is the relationship between experience and language? More specifically, how does one account for the following "conundrum": language can be said to stem genetically from the lived experience; yet in order to talk about - describe? express? convey to others? - our experience, one needs language?
The objective of this axe is to create a multidimensional conceptual framework mapping different understandings of the notion of experience and establishing the one that specifies it according to the embodied approach.
NOTION OF MEMORY
Any methodology that studies experience has to face the challenge that experience is always described in retrospect. That is to say that in order to connect with a particular experience and to describe it, we use memory. One of the criticisms made towards first person approaches is that we cannot access our past experiences with precision and that is highly probable that we create false memories. However, the notion of memory that underlies such criticism assumes that our memory, like computers, is a storage-retrieval mechanism that, if works correctly, should recover a content stores in the past with no variations. Considering that the embodied approach conceive cognitive organisms as systems that actively participates in the constitution of the world rather than representing an external reality onto its cognitive substratum: how is memory understood under an embodied approach? How can this understanding of memory shed light in the process of getting in contact with and describing a past experience?
The objective of this axe is to address the problem of retrospective access to experience by establishing a conceptual framework to understand the notion of memory from an embodied approach.
issue OF language
Interview techniques rely on verbal descriptions and concepts for accessing to a person´s experience. As well as opening possibilities, concepts can be a a limitation when trying to study a given experience. Particularly, regarding a) the dependence of conceptualization on sociocultural variables and b) the fact that concepts don´t always manage to grasp all the aspects of the experience. This limitation raises the need to integrate other types of languages such as different expressive, non-verbal and artistic languages. How to integrate such languages in a way that allow the study of experience? Which analytic framework to use? Would we in that case talking about the experience, the representation of it or of its expression?
The objectives of this axe are:
To reflect on the limitations of conceptualization as a took to access experience, particularly: a) the dependence of conceptualization on sociocultural variables and b) access to pre-conceptual dimensions of experience.
To explore the application of bodily and expressive practices as tools for addressing the non-conceptual dimensions of experience and analyze their integration with other first peson approaches.
In relation to the two previous objectives, reflect on the distinction between experience, representation and expression.
issue OF validation
The objective of this axe is to move forward in the consolidation of a community of researches working on the establishment of standards of first-person investigations to guarantee intersubjective validation of the results.