Sunday, December 8, 2013

Conference announcement

In keeping with the program set out in the book “Two sciences of mind”, this conference distinguishes between foundational issues related to cognition, to be discussed on the first day, and those related to consciousness. The motivation for this division is primarily procedural; it is proposed that there are myriad issues associated with each that can be approached separately before an integrative strategy can succeed. In particular, it is suggested that the failure of fields like natural language processing to solve their fundamental problems are due to a mistaken assumption of linearity. Likewise, and perhaps related, consciousness studies continues to attempt to reduce our being-in-the-world to psychological processes, in the hope that an expanded concept of information will solve everything. In the vacua that have emerged, charlatans abound with nostrums about neuroplastcity, the “content industry” and oner-interpretation of single findings like those from mirror neurons retarding real neuroscience.

It is proposed that cognitive science must reflect, and equal in complexity, all explanation patterns attested in third-person science. Yet such third-person science involves constructs like vectors and curved space that would seem to be outside the explanatory ambit of scalar methods like fmri. In fact, for cognitive science to succeed in completing the cycle of explanation of the sciences, it must use all representational structures used in the academy.

Further cognitive themes can be found at

This will be held Mar 6-7 2014, Sproul Room at international house at UC Berkeley with Skype links to participants who cannot travel to the event

Henry Stapp (LBNL, UC Berkeley)

Ed Vul (UCSD)

Jacob Needleman (SFSU)

Jerome Feldman (ICSI, UC Berkeley)

Tom Griffiths (UC Berkeley)

Robert Campbell (Clemson U)

Mike Cole (UCSD)

José Acacio de Barros (SFSU/Stanford)

Christian de Quincey (JFK)

Sean O Nuallain (UoI)

Fr. Robert Spitzer (Magis institute)

Bernard Haisch (ManyOne Networks )

Interested in doing a full-time course? Visit

Consciousness studies has surely been one of the main intellectual failures of the past 20 years; there seems still to be a proclivity to attempt to identify consciousness with its content, and that in turn with an entangled nexus bathing us rather like amniotic fluid. On the second day, we propose distinguishing discussing consciousness from its content, and to explicate its relationship with the arts, with science, with political activism, and with religion, particularly in the context of fine-tuning.

Further themes can be found at

Inquiries and submissions for the conference to; the deadline for conference abstracts (max 750 words) is Feb 1 2014, 5pm GMT. Please note that we welcome papers that disagree with the premises of the workshop; the goal is to have a lively and informed debate.

We also welcome proposals for programme committee members, panellists and indeed plenary speakers, 510-642-9460

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