2017 Simon Award: Professor Andrea Scarantino

Dear Colleagues,

It is my privilege to announce that the International Association for Computing and Philosophy’s executive board has selected Andrea Scarantino for the 2017 Herbert A. Simon Award for Outstanding Research in Computing and Philosophy, which specifically recognizes scholars at an early stage of their academic career whose research is likely to reshape debates at the nexus of Computing and Philosophy.

Andrea Scarantino is Professor in the Department of Philosophy and in the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University, where he has served since 2005. He holds doctorates in History and Philosophy of Science (University of Pittsburgh, 2005) and Economics (Università Cattolica di Milano, 2000). Professor Scarantino has been awarded a John Templeton Foundation Grant on the Philosophy and Science of Self-Control (2016) and a Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany (2015-ongoing).

He is the editor of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Emotion Theory, a unique interdisciplinary resource that features chapters on all central theoretical challenges of contemporary emotion theory in a variety of disciplines. Professor Scarantino also serves as editor of Emotion Researcher (www.emotionresearcher.com), the sourcebook of the International Society for Research on Emotions, the main online reference resource on emotions currently available.

Professor Scarantino’s work encompasses two main topics: information and emotion. His primary objective has been to provide an explicative definition for both concepts that sharpens them while serving useful theoretical purposes. In more recent times, Scarantino has started to connect the two principal strands of his research. He is exploring what kinds of information the expression of an emotion broadcasts and how emotional expressions may have provided our ancestors with an informational infrastructure for the emergence of language.

With respect to information, Scarantino has argued that we are dealing with a mongrel concept in need of disambiguation, and offered a general theory of (natural) information as consisting of anything that makes a probabilistic difference to an uncertain outcome. This probabilistic understanding of information is shown to derive from converging insights of Shannon’s theory of communication and Bayesian confirmation theory and to be satisfactory with respect to the desiderata of contemporary cognitive science.

Some of his most significant articles on the nature of information and the role it plays in communicative episodes include “Information as a Probabilistic Difference Maker” (Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 2015), “Contextually Variable Signals Can Be Functionally Referential,” co-authored with Zanna Clay (Animal Behavior, 2014), “Rethinking Functional Reference” (Philosophy of Science, 2013), “Animal Communication as Information Mediated Influence,” in Animal Communication Theory: Information and Influence (2013, Ulrich Stegmann, ed.), “Information Processing, Computation and Cognition,” co-authored with Gualtiero Piccinini (Journal of Biological Physics, 2011), and “Information Without Truth,” co-authored with Gualtiero Piccinini (Metaphilosophy, 2010).

Professor Scarantino has also written extensively about emotions, arguing that the field has gone astray in trying to define emotions as either cognitions or feelings. As an alternative, Scarantino has proposed a general theory of emotions as action control systems, arguing that it is the only theory that makes sense of the distinctive way in which emotions motivate us to act, namely with urgency and with only a partial assessment of the information relevant to the decision at hand.

Some of his most significant articles on the nature of emotions and their complex connections to actions include “Do Emotions Cause Actions, and If So How?”(Emotion Review, 2017), “The Philosophy of Emotions and Its Impact on Affective Science”, in The Handbook of Emotions (2016, Lisa Feldman Barrett, Michael Lewis, and Jeanette Haviland-Jones, eds.), “Voodoo Dolls and Angry Lions: How Emotions Explain Arational Actions”, co-authored with Michael Nielsen (Philosophical Studies, 2015), “The Motivational Theory of Emotions”, in Moral Psychology and Human Agency (2014, Daniel Jacobson and Justin D’Arms, eds.), “Basic Emotions, Psychological Construction and the Problem of Variability,” in The Psychological Construction of Emotion (2015, James Russell and Lisa Feldman Barrett, eds), and “Insights and Blindspots of the Cognitivist Theory of Emotions” (British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2010).

Professor Scarantino will present the Simon Award Keynote Address at IACAP 2017, June 26-28, Stanford University. See http://www.iacap.org/iacap-2017/ for conference information and submission guidelines.

Please join us at IACAP 2017 to congratulate Professor Scarantino on this well-deserved award.

Best Wishes,

Don Berkich
IACAP President

IACAP 2017 CFP Extended

Dear Colleagues,

Due to numerous requests, the executive board of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy has authorized an extension of the deadline for paper submissions from January 15 to February 15 for its June 26-28 meeting at Stanford University.

Symposia proposals should, however, still be submitted by the original January 15 deadline.

Blind reviews will commence promptly for papers submitted by January 15.

For submission guidelines and the updated CFP, please see


Paper and symposia proposals may be submitted to


Best Wishes,

Don Berkich
IACAP President

2017 Covey Award: Professor Raymond Turner

The International Association for Computing and Philosophy’s Covey Award recognizes senior scholars with a substantial record of innovative research in the field of computing and philosophy broadly conceived.

IACAP’s Executive Board is delighted to announce that Professor Raymond Turner will be presented with the Covey Award at IACAP 2017, June 26-28, Stanford University, where he will present the Covey Award Keynote Address.

Professor Turner is Professor Emeritus of Logic and Computation in the School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Essex, where he has served since 1985. Holding doctorates in Mathematical Logic and Theoretical Computer Science (Queen Mary College, London, 1973) and Philosophy (Bedford College, London, 1981). Professor Turner has also been a Sloan Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (1982) and CSLI, Stanford University (1984). He was Visiting Professor and Research Fellow at the University of Texas-Austin (1984 and 1987) and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (1984 and 1986). Currently he serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Logic and Computation and, for the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, as Editor of Logic and Computation.

Professor Turner’s work in Theoretical Computing Science and the Philosophy of Computer Science has been field-defining and ground-breaking. His books include Computable Models (Springer 2010), Constructive Foundations for Functional Languages (McGraw Hill 1991), Truth and Modality for Knowledge Representation (MIT Press 1990), and Logics for Artificial Intelligence (Pitman, 1984). His publications include “A Theory of Properties”, (Journal of Symbolic Logic, 1987), “The Foundations of Specification” (Journal of Logic and Computation, 2005), “Type Inference for Set Theory” (Theoretical Computer Science, 2001), “Specification”, (Minds and Machines, 2011), “Programming Languages as Technical Artefacts”, (Philosophy and Technology, 2014), “Logics of Truth” (Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 1990), and “The Philosophy of Computer Science”, (Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, 2013).

As Professor Turner describes his research,

The philosophy of computer science is concerned with those philosophical issues that arise from within the academic discipline of computer science. It is intended to be the philosophical endeavour that stands to computer science as philosophy of mathematics does to mathematics and philosophy of technology does to technology. Indeed, the abstract nature of computer science, coupled with its technological ambitions, ensures that many of the conceptual questions that arise in the philosophies of mathematics and technology have computational analogues. In addition, the subject will draw in variants of some of the central questions in the philosophies of mind, language and science.

In contrast, I take the central task of Theoretical Computing Science to be the construction of mathematical models of computational phenomena. Such models provide us with a deeper understanding of the nature of computation and representation. For example, the early work on computability theory provided a mathematical model of computation itself. Turing’s work is of fundamental importance here. Adapting Gödel’s diagonalization argument, he demonstrated that there are problems that do not admit of an algorithmic solution. He thus provided a mathematical model of computation that displayed its limitations. Later work on the semantics of programming languages enabled a precise articulation of the underlying differences between programming languages and led to a clearer understanding of the distinction between semantic representation and implementation. Early work in complexity theory supplied us with abstract notions which formally articulated informal ideas about the resources used during computation. I take this model building endeavour to be the central and fundamental role of theoretical computer science.

Please join us at IACAP 2017, June 26-28, Stanford University to congratulate Professor Turner on this well-deserved award.



Don Berkich
IACAP President

IACAP 2016 Keynote Address Videos

Our local hosts, Professors Marcello D’Agostino and Matteo D’Alfonso, have kindly provided video of the conference keynote addresses:

Videos courtesy of the Centro e-Learning d’Ateneo dell’UNiversità di Ferrara and Sara Gusberti, videographer.

IACAP 2016 Logistics and Lodging Information


(Please note that the conference schedule is currently being finalized and will be published as soon as it is available.)


IACAP 2016 will be held at the
Department of Economics and Management
Via Voltapaletto 11
44121 – Ferrara


From Bologna Airport to Ferrara Centre there is a shuttle (for 10 €): http://www.ferrarabusandfly.it/en/.

If you need a car with driver from Bologna Airport (about 80 €) you can book it by Cosepuri:http://www.cosepuri.it/en/divisione-auto.

From all other Airports or Cities in Italy (Venice, Milan, Rome etc.) you should take the Shuttle to the closest Railway Station and from there a train to Ferrara.

There are two railways companies in Italy: Trenitalia (trip planner) and Italo (trip planner).


Ristorante “La Provvidenza
Corso Ercole I d’Este, 92,
44121 – Ferrara FE


Hotels Contact Rooms Rates
P.zza Repubblica, 5-Ferrara
Tel. 0532-201111
Mail: info@annunziata.it
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€ 104,00
€ 114,00
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Via Mascheraio 39- Ferrara
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Borgoleoni 18 Room & Breakfast
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Hotel Orologio
Via Darsena 67
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Hotel S.Stefano
Boccacanale di Santo Stefano, 21
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San Paolo
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Bed and Breakfast Contact Rooms Rates
Locanda della Biscia
Via Palestro 57
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Flat with kitchen
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€ 50
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Via Borso, 28
http://www.bbastrolabio-ferrara.it/index.html Single room
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€ 35-40
€ 60-70
Avogli Trotti http://www.bedavoglitrotti.it/37-prezzi Double for 1 person
Double room
€ 50
€ 80
Alloggio 2.0 http://www.alloggio2punto0.it/ Double for 1 person
Double room
Flats for 2 people
€ 49
€ 59
€ 65
Foresterie/Guest House/Studentati Contact Rooms Rates
Guest House il Cenacolo
Giuseppe Fabbri 414
Single room with private bathroom
Double rooms with private bathroom
€ 32 per night (less than 4 nights, B&B service); € 28 per night (equal or more than 5 nights, B&B service)
€ 45 per night (less than 4 nights, B&B service); € 40 per night (equal or more than 5 nights, B&B service)
Students Hostel
Corso Biagio Rossetti n.24
+39 0532 20 11 58
+39 0532 21 74 39
  € 17-49 (different type of rooms)
ERGO students residences
City center (different parts)
https://servizionline.er-go.it/alloggi/borsino?SEDE_ERGO=fe Single room with private bathroom
Double rooms with private bathroom
€ around 30 (different type of rooms)
Booking online

IACAP 2016 Submission Notification Deadline Updated

Please note that extending the due date for paper submissions from 11 January 2016 to 1 February 2016 made it necessary to likewise extend the notification deadline from 25 February 2016 to 15 March 2016. The program committee appreciates your patience as we strive to complete the review process.

“Computing and Philosophy: Selected Papers from IACAP 2014”, Vincent C. Müller, ed.

IACAP is proud to announce the Synthese Library publication of selected papers from IACAP 2014, Thessaloniki under the editorial direction of Vincent C. Müller.

“Computing and Philosophy: Selected Papers from IACAP 2014”

This volume offers very selected papers from the 2014 conference of the “International Association for Computing and Philosophy” (IACAP) – a conference tradition of 28 years. The theme of the papers is the two-way relation between computing technologies and philosophical questions: Computing technologies both raise new philosophical questions, and shed light on traditional philosophical problems. The chapters cover: 1) philosophy of computing, 2) philosophy of computer science & discovery, 3) philosophy of cognition & intelligence, 4) computing & society, and 5) ethics of computation.

The 2016 Simon Award: Marcin Milkowski

The Herbert A. Simon Award for Outstanding Research in Computing and Philosophy recognizes scholars at an early stage of their academic career who are likely to reshape debates at the nexus of Computing and Philosophy by their original research.

It is with great pleasure the IACAP Board announces that Professor Marcin Milkowski has won the 2016 Simon Award for his significant contributions to the foundations of computational cognitive neuroscience.

Professor Milkowski (http://marcinmilkowski.pl/) serves as associate professor in the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He is currently a managing editor of Przegląd Filozoficzno-Literacki (Philosophical-Literary Review). From 2005 to 2011, he served on the executive board of the Center for Philosophical Research, a new, independent scientific organisation that includes philosophers and scholars in humanities.

Professor Milkowski wrote his dissertation Konstrukcja umysłu. Intuicje zdrowego rozsądku a naturalizm w filozofii umysłu Daniela Dennetta (“Mind Design. Common-sense intuitions vs. naturalism in Daniel Dennett’s philosophy of mind”) under the supervision of Jacek Hołówka in Institute of Philosophy at Warsaw University. He received habilitation in Poland on the basis of his 2013 Explaining the Computational Mind (MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.). His recent publications include:

  • 2015. Satisfaction conditions in anticipatory mechanisms. Biology & Philosophy, (February).
  • 2015. Function and causal relevance of content. New Ideas in Psychology, 1–9.
  • 2015. Explanatory completeness and idealization in large brain simulations: a mechanistic perspective. Synthese.
  • 2015. Evaluating Artificial Models of Cognition. Studies in Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric, 40(1), 43–62.
  • 2014. Social intelligence: how to integrate research? A mechanistic perspective. In A. Herzig & E. Lorini (Eds.), Proceedings of the European Conference on Social Intelligence (ECSI-2014) (pp. 117–127).
  • 2014. Perspektywy ewolucjonistyczne w badaniach społecznych. In M. Gdula & L. M. Nijakowski (Eds.), Oprogramowanie rzeczywistości społecznej (pp. 185–208). Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej.
  • 2014. Is the mind a Turing Machine? How could we tell? In A. Olszewski, B. Brożek, & P. Urbańczyk (Eds.), Church’s Thesis. Logic, Mind, and Nature (pp. 305–333). Kraków: Copernicus Center Press.
  • 2014. Computational Mechanisms and Models of Computation. Philosophia Scientiæ, 18(3), 215–228.
  • 2014. Computation and Multiple Realizability. In V. C. Mueller (Ed.), Fundamental Issues of Artificial Intelligence. Berlin – Heidelberg: Springer.

Professor Milkowski will give the Simon Award Keynote Address at IACAP 2016 June 14-17, University of Ferrara, Italy. Please join us in congratulating Professor Milkowski on this well-deserved award.