BSP Podcast: Janna van Grunsven on Reimagining Embodied Well-Being

podcast update

This episode of the BSP Podcast sees Janna van Grunsven presenting a paper from our 2022 conference, ‘Engaged Phenomenology II’.

Season 6 episode 148: 28 May 2024

Season 6 continues with another presentation from our 2022 annual conference, Engaged Phenomenology II: Explorations of Embodiment, Emotions, and Spatiality. This episode features a presentation from Janna van Grunsven, Delft University of Technology.

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Janna van Grunsven
‘Reimagining Embodied Well-Being: Quasi-Cartesianism, Crip Technoscience & 4E Cognition’

The aim of my paper is to show that insights from the field of embodied, embedded, extended and enactive cognition can be used to articulate a more inclusive socio-technical imaginary of human well-being. I borrow the notion of a socio-technical imaginary from Jasanoff and Kim (2015), who define socio-technical imaginaries as “collectively held, institutionally stabilized, and publicly performed visions of desirable futures, animated by shared understandings of forms of social life and social order attainable through, and supportive of, advances in science and technology.” I begin by arguing that a quasi-Cartesian conception of the mind and the body currently shape our sociotechnical imagination, informing widely held ideas of:
> what minds and bodies are
> what well-functioning minds and bodies look like &
> what it means to design technologies that purport to support, augment, cure, and rehabilitate minds and bodies that deviate from the widely shared view of properly functioning bodies and minds.
I will discuss how developments in Crip Technoscience allow us to interrogate and critique this quasi-Cartesian socio-technical imaginary. I will then propose that these Crip Technoscientific insights can be bolstered with insights from the field of embodied, embedded, extended and enactive cognition, also known as 4E Cognition. After I discuss how 4E offers an alternative take on ideas 1-3, listed above, I offer a tentative sketch of a more inclusive sociotechnical imaginary centered around Crip Technoscientific and 4E insights.

Janna van Grunsven is an assistant professor in philosophy of technology at TU Delft and a research fellow in the NWO-Gravitation research programme “The Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies”. Van Grunsven’s work combines insights from philosophy of technology and the field of 4E cognition and examines how different theoretical accounts of the mind and different technological developments can have decisive ethical implications for how disabled people are brought in view in a moral sense. Her work has appeared in journals such as Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Topoi, the Journal of Consciousness Studies, and Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology.

Further Information:

This recording is taken from our Annual UK Conference 2022: Engaged Phenomenology II: Explorations of Embodiment, Emotions, and Sociality (Exeter, UK / Hybrid) with the University of Exeter. Sponsored by the Wellcome Centre, Egenis, and the Shame and Medicine project. For the conference our speakers either presented in person at Exeter or remotely to people online and in-room, and the podcast episodes are recorded from the live broadcast feeds.

The British Society for Phenomenology is a not-for-profit organisation set up with the intention of promoting research and awareness in the field of Phenomenology and other cognate arms of philosophical thought. Currently, the society accomplishes these aims through its journal, events, and podcast. Why not find out more, join the society, and subscribe to our journal the JBSP?