How do we understand life and mind? For Kym Maclaren, understanding something means “letting it be.” We understand something only to the extent that we do not fully determine it. Understanding something wrongly can do an injustice to it. Imagine a horse trainer only interested in the moneymaking his animal can do; it will collapse before he knows it. Maclaren (2002) argues that we learn “letting be” through and with others. Also, in this understanding relationship, we, the knower, are the “let-be-er.” We participate in particular ways in the act of understanding. Not only the conatus (Spinoza) of the thing under scrutiny is at play, but also our own conatus. De Jaegher will present some of her investigations into how the enactive theory of intersubjectivity (De Jaegher & Di Paolo, 2007) can contribute to understanding the relationship between knower and known, by delving into some of the inherent tensions in love relationships.

Hanne De Jaegher

University of the Basque Country

Hanne De Jaegher is a philosopher of mind and cognitive science. She is fascinated by how we think, work, and play — basically: live and love — together. For studying … MORE