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Zuzanna Aleksandra Rucińska, PhD

Senior Postdoctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO),

Centre for Philosophical Psychology, University of Antwerp, Belgium. 

Guest editor for the journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences,

special issue: "Pretense and Imagination from the Perspective of 4E Cognitive Science"

Institutional website:

A bit about me


Areas of Specialization:

Theories of Pretense and Imagination, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Psychology,

Embodied Cognition and Enactivism, Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Social Cognition

Areas of Competence:

Phenomenology, Ecological Psychology, Pragmatism, History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Art,

Philosophy of Sport, Western Philosophy, World Philosophies

My research interests include pretend and imaginative play, forms of creativity, embodied and enactive cognition, embodied account of imagination, and theory of affordances. I enjoy meshing the embodied, enactive and phenomenologically oriented approaches to cognition with modern theories and problems found in cognitive sciences, ecological psychology and pragmatism.


I explore topics relevant to the field of philosophy of mind and cognitive science (e.g., explaining typically representational activities such as imagining or planning through embodied and enactive cognition), while taking examples that are of my personal interest, such as imaginary friend play, metaphor use, or even rock climbing (see my Publications).

My interests and experiences with interdisciplinary environment follows from the extensive training I received as a Marie-Curie researcher in the project 'TESIS: Towards the Embodied Science of Intersubjectivity' (2011-2014).

I have a PhD in Philosophy (2015), MA in Philosophy of Psychology (2010), MSc in Occupational Health Psychology (2010) and BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences (2008).


I also have teaching experience from four different universities across three countries. I have taught classes on various topics and enjoy creating my own courses (see Teaching).

I am from Poland, I have been raised in Japan and educated in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. I enjoy collaborative work and travel (see Public Appearances​). 

Research Interests

These are the topics I am currently exploring (see also my Publications). 

  • Enactive account of pretend play

  • The role of affordances and social interactions in cognition

  • Strongly embodied imagination

  • Embodiment and agency in virtual reality

  • Normativity of play practices

  • Imaginary companions and fictional narratives

  • Systemic collaborative therapy and enactive psychiatry

  • Creativity and planning in sport contexts

  • E-cognition and cognitive science: 'wide mechanisms'

  • Metaphors in therapeutic engagements

My Work

Click on the categories below to see my published work and projects


Thanks for submitting!


zuzannaaleksandra [dot] rucinska [at]

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