Workshop Nanay 2014

Abteilung Philosophie
Universität Bielefeld > Fakultät > Philosophie > Personen > Christian Nimtz > workshops

Issues from "Between Perception and Action". A Workshop with Bence Nanay (University of Antwerp / Cambridge University)

Bielefeld University, April 11th 2014, Room A2-125
organized by Christian Nimtz & Peter Schulte

We are happy to announce a one-day workshop with Bence Nanay on his recent book “Between Perception and Action” (OUP 2013).

Participation is free of charge. Yet since space is limited, prior registration is mandatory. Please send an email to Early registration is encouraged.


In his “Between Perception and Action”, Bence Nanay forcefully argues that the vast majority of what is going on in the human mind is best understood in terms of a specific kind of non-conceptual mental representation he labels "pragmatic representations". Pragmatic representations are inherently action-oriented. They mediate between sensory input and motor output by attributing those ‘action properties’ that need to be represented in order for the agent to perform her actions. At the same time, pragmatic representations are perceptual states. Although they as a rule are unconscious and are not part of our perceptual phenomenology, pragmatic representations perceptually attribute action-properties and thereby guide our bodily movement.

Nanay draws on a wealth of material from philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science to argue his case, as well as to spell out its consequences. Along the way, he proposes a novel approach to key questions in the philosophy of perception, makes a case for the naturalization of action theory, rejects the belief-desire model even for deliberative actions, identifies a new role for mental imagery in the genesis of action, and provides an a simpler alternative to the widely held theory-of-mind account of perspective taking.

See also:

- the OUP page on "Between Perception and Action"
- Bence Nanay's homepage


We are planning on having a morning session (from 10:00 to roughly 13:00) and an afternoon session (from 14:30 to roughly 17:30). There will be a brief introduction by Bence Nanay himself and one kick-of commentary per session (by Christian Nimtz and Peter Schulte, respectively), leaving us with ample time for an in-depth discussion of all the issues arising.