Xabier Barandiaran Picture

I consider myself a situated and embodied philosopher, which means that I situate my philosophical practice in close interaction with social scientific environments and embodied in the conceptual apparatus that emerges from this interplay. The sciences on which I feel embedded are those meeting in the multidisciplinary crossroad of cognitive sciences and artificial life: particularly the origins of agency, simulation of adaptive behaviour (evolutionary robotics and computational neuroethology), and large scale neuroscience. I also life embodied and embedded in hacktivism, technopolitics and reproduction of commons and free knowledge. I am currently lecturer in Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country and researcher at the IAS-Research Centre for Life, Mind, and Society. I am also involved in Wikitoki (a laboratory of collaborative practices and mutual aid for the cognitariat, in Bilbao).

I did my BA in Philosophy at the University of Deusto (Bilbao), where I got trained mostly on the history of philosophy, continental hermeneutics and Frankfort School philosophers. I also did a year of Erasmus in Middlesex University (London), where I got some training in Artificial Intelligence, Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science.

When finishing my degree I decided to move towards the new emerging sciences of Artificial Life and Complexity and went to the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences at the University of Sussex (Brighton, UK) to do a MSc on Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems.

I next got a doctoral fellowship at the Information, Autonomy and Systems Research Group (University of the Basque Country) in San Sebastian to do a PhD Thesis entitled Mental Life: a naturalized account of the autonomy of cognitive agents with Álvaro Moreno.

After finishing my PhD I was a visiting researcher at the Autonomous Systems Lab, at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain) and also at the Konral Lorenz Institute for Cognition and Evolution Research in Vienna. Soon after I received a Postdoctoral grant from the Spanish Ministry of Innovation and Science, I spent the first year of my postdoc at the Center for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics (University of Sussex), under the supervision of Ezequiel Di Paolo, and a second year at the Centre de Recherche en Épistémologie Appliquée, CNRS/Polytechnique, in Paris under the supervision of Paul Bourgine. Next, I became a postdoc researcher of the FP7-Programm research network eSMCs (Extending Sensorimotor Contingencies to Cognition) project, at Ezequiel Di Paolo‘s team at the University of the Basque Country. Currently I am a lecturer of the Department of Philosophy at the University School of Social Work at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).

The political situations witnessed in Spain during the 2008-2015 and the, still ongoing, economic and political crisis re-strengthened my activist ties and networks, working mostly on digital infrastructures for activism and I ended up as Director for Democratic Innovation at Barcelona City-Council in April 2016. I have since devoted my time to investigate and design digital networks for participatory democracy, leading the Decidim.org project and Barcelona’s web portal for participatory democracy and accountability Decidim.Barcelona.

I am a member of euCognition II network (also was of the previous euCognition I), Program Committee of the European Conference on Artificial Life and member of ISAL and foundational member of the Retecog (Spanish network of research in Cognitive Science).

Xabier Barandiaran Photograph
Xabier E. Barandiaran