FiloLab Collaborating Researcher

Juan de la Cierva Formación Researcher, Logic and Philosophy of Science Department, UPV/EHU


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Manuel Heras Escribano is a Juan de la Cierva Formación Researcher at the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science of the University of the Baque Country (Spain) and a visiting researcher at the Embodied Cognitive Science Unit of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (Japan). He has been a predoctoral researcher at the University of Granada (Outstanding Doctorate Award), a postdoctoral researcher at the Alberto Hurtado University (Chile) and a visiting researcher at the University of Southampton (UK) and the University of Pittsburgh (USA). He has been awarded a Fondecyt postdoctoral project funded by the Chilean Governement and a BBVA Foundation's Leonardo Fellowship. He was also awarded, with Manuel de Pinedo, the UGR-Caja Rural Award to Excellence in Research Projects 2018 in the field of Humanities.

Areas of research

His research focuses on the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, with a special focus on situated and embodied theories of cognition. The main aim is to offer a general theory of the nature of experience from a non-representational, situated and embodied perspective. To do so, he has explored three distinct lines of research: first, he has analyzed theoretical aspects (methodological, ontological and epistemic) of ecological psychology and enactivism, with a special focus on the notion of affordance or possibility for action. Second, he has worked (together with Manuel de Pinedo) on a proposal to understand pre-reflective behaviour in a normative manner. The third line of research focuses on the biological origins of cognition by combining ecological psychology and the theory of niche construction in order to analyze the evolutionary role of affordances.

Selected publications

[2020] Heras-Escribano, Manuel. "The Evolutionary Role of Affordances: Ecological Psychology, Niche Construction, and Natural Selection." Biology & Philosophy, vol. 35, art. 30. DOI: 10.1007/s10539-020-09747-1.

[2019] Heras-Escribano, Manuel. The Philosophy of Affordances. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-98830-6.

[2019] Heras-Escribano, Manuel. "Pragmatism, enactivism, and ecological psychology: Towards a unified approach to post-cognitivism." Synthese. DOI: 10.1007/s11229-019-02111-1.

[2019] Heras-Escribano, Manuel, and Paco Calvo. "The Philosophy of Plant Neurobiology." Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology (2nd edition), edited by Sarah Robins, John Symons, and Paco Calvo. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 529-548.

[2019] Segundo-Ortin, Miguel, Manuel Heras-Escribano, and Vicente Raja. "Ecological psychology is radical enough. A reply to radical enactivists." Philosophical Psychology, no. 7. DOI: 10.1080/09515089.2019.1668238.

[2018] Heras-Escribano, Manuel, and Paulo de Jesus. "Biosemiotics, the Extended Synthesis, and Ecological Information: Making Sense of the Organism-Environment Relation at the Cognitive Level." Biosemiotics, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 245-262. DOI: 10.1007/s12304-018-9322-2.

[2018] Heras-Escribano, Manuel, and Manuel de Pinedo-García. "Affordances and landscapes: overcoming the nature-culture dichotomy through niche construction theory." Frontiers in Psychology (section: Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology), vol. 8, art. 2294, pp. 1-15. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02294.

[2018] Lobo, Lorena, Manuel Heras-Escribano, and David Travieso. "The History and Philosophy of Ecological Psychology." Frontiers in Psychology (section: Cognitive Science), vol. 9, art. 2228, pp. 1-15. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02228.

[2017] Heras-Escribano, Manuel. "Non-factualist Dispositionalism. Philosophia." Philosophical Quarterly of Israel, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 607-629. DOI: 10.1007/s11406-016-9784-x.

[2016] Heras-Escribano, Manuel, and Manuel de Pinedo. "Are affordances normative?" Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 565-589. DOI: 10.1007/s11097-015-9440-0.


Principal Investigator of the project "La filosofía de las affordances" (AFFORDEVOCOG). Leonardo Fellowship, BBVA Foundation. (15/09/2018 - 15/03/2019, 32.500 €)

International member of the project "Neural reuse, embodied cognition, and dynamic-systems approaches to the brain. Social Sciences and Humanities". Research Council of Canada. PI: M. L. Anderson. (University of Toronto). (01/04/2018-30/03/2025, 925.159 €)

Member of the work team of the project "Contemporary Expressivisms and the Indispensability of Normative Vocabulary: Scope and Limits of the Expressivist Hypothesis" (FFI2016-80088-P). PIs: N. Villanueva and M. de Pinedo. (01/01/2018-01/01/2022, 50.820 €)

Collaborating Researcher in the Unit of Excellence FiloLAB (University of Granada). PI: L. Bermejo. (21/07/2017-21/07/2021)

Principal Investigator of the project "Affordances, Ecological Psychology, and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis". Fondecyt Postdoctorado 3170685. (15/03/2017-15/03/2020 (Interrupted in 2018), 17.979 € yearly)