This paper reviews the general philosophy underlying the transdisciplinary research in the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition (ECCO) group. The ECCO conceptual framework is based on an ontology of action: the fundamental constituents of reality are seen as actions and the agents that produce them. More complex phenomena are conceived as self-organizing networks of interacting agents that evolve to become increasingly complex, adaptive and intelligent systems. The resulting worldview allows us to address the most fundamental issues of philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, futurology and praxeology. It in particular tackles the recurrent issues surrounding the matter-mind duality, including the origins of purposefulness and of subjective experience, and the relation between first-person and third-person perspectives. It achieves this by extending the intentional stance down to the simplest agents, elementary particles. This action-based view moreover supports a variety of practical applications, including the design of self-organizing technological systems, of systems that mobilize people to work in a motivated and coordinated manner, and of systems that support the collaborative development and dissemination of knowledge networks. The appendix of the paper, which is structured as a glossary, systematically defines and surveys the fundamental concepts of the ECCO framework.
Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, thinkers ++
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