Call for Abstracts: Workshop on the Rational Role of Cognitive Phenomenology, Bergen, June 6-7, 2017

Call for Abstracts, Workshop on the Rational Role of Cognitive Phenomenology

University of Bergen, June 6–7, 2017.

>> The organisers especially encourage participation from members of under-represented groups. Travel and accommodation funding will very likely be available. Please scroll down for further information <<

Description

Previous orthodoxy in philosophy of mind held that there is something it is like to perceive — perceptual experiences have a phenomenal character — but there is no phenomenology associated with thought. Over the past few decades, this orthodoxy has been powerfully challenged: a number of authors have argued that there is a phenomenology of thought, or cognitive phenomenology (‘CP’).

Much research has focused on whether CP is reducible. Few deny that thoughts are associated with phenomenal experience, but many think that this fact can be explained by occurrent, remembered, or imagined perceptual experiences which are associated with the thoughts, rather than by attributing a phenomenal character to thought itself.

In this workshop we bracket the reducibility question, and focus instead on what the rational role of CP is. We understand CP broadly: in addition to the phenomenology of thought contents and attitudes, metacognitive feelings such as certainty or doubt, relevance or irrelevance, a thought being supported, or not, by a previous one, agency or passivity for thoughts, and so on, all count as instances. Given that thought has phenomenal character, what can this tell us about our nature as rational agents? We take serious engagement with this question to often require careful description of the nature of CP’s relevant aspects, so we particularly encourage engagements with the topic that have a substantive descriptive component.

Confirmed speakers:

Call for Abstracts

Four talk slots (45 + 45 minutes) will be filled through the CfA process. Abstracts should be 1000 — 1500 words long, prepared for blind review (taking care to remove all personal information), and emailed in a word or pdf attachment to post[a]fof.uib.no no later than 1 February 2017, with ‘Submission to Cognitive Phenomenology Workshop’ in the subject line. In preparing your abstract, please pay close attention to the workshop description and the below list of questions.

Where two submissions are otherwise deemed roughly equal in terms of quality and fit, submissions from members of under-represented groups will be preferred. If you feel comfortable doing so, please include relevant information about yourself in the email (though not in the abstract prepared for blind review).

You will be notified of our decision in writing no later than 1 March 2017. Travel will be organised shortly thereafter.

We cannot at this stage guarantee that we will be able to cover costs for speakers accepted through this process, but it is overwhelmingly likely that we will be able to do so.

Relevant questions for the workshop include:

  • What are the role descriptions for ‘work’ that needs doing by a rational agent, and which CP is a good candidate to perform?
  • How (if at all) does CP help us keep track of relevance / irrelevance in a chain of thought? How does this support our rationality, and how might this support break down?
  • What role (if any) does CP play in determining which thoughts form part of a coherent line of thought, and which are external to that line? How does this support our rationality, and how might this support break down?
  • How (if at all) does CP help us keep track of confidence-assessments of our judgements? How does this support our rationality, and how might this support break down?
  • How (if at all) does CP help us keep track of relations between our present thoughts and our background attitudes? How does this support our rationality, and how might this support break down?
  • In what ways (if any) does CP contribute to reasoning and deliberation? How does this support our rationality, and how might this support break down?
  • What role (if any) does CP play in self-knowledge of thoughts and attitudes? How does this support our rationality, and how might this support break down?
  • What significance (if any) do experiences of activity/passivity about thoughts have for rationality? What contributions can the study of pathological phenomena like thought insertion and auditory verbal hallucinations make to an understanding of that significance?
  • Is there a phenomenology of relevance? How does this support our rationality, and how might this support break down?
  • What (if any) impact does verbal phenomenology related to our thoughts have on the structure of our thought-processes? How does this support our rationality, and how might this support break down?
  • Is it possible to bring the rationality-supporting aspects of cognitive phenomenology into a taxonomy? Can those aspects be analyzed in terms of a limited number of basic types of experience?

Inclusiveness

Members of groups that are under-represented in philosophy are especially encouraged to submit. This includes, but is not limited to, women, persons of colour, LGBTQI persons, and persons with a disability. Where two submissions are otherwise deemed roughly equal in terms of quality and fit, submissions from members of under-represented groups will be preferred.

The workshop will be held in a wheelchair accessible venue, with an accessible toilet in the immediate vicinity, as will the workshop dinner.

We will assist in organising accessible accommodation as required.

We will support speakers in organising child care, and, if funding permits, also to pay for it.

Talks will be conducted in accordance with the UK’s Society for Women in Philosophy’s ‘Seminar Chairing Policy Suggestions’.

Further information

The workshop will be followed by a one-day workshop on auditory verbal hallucinations on June 8th that we co-organize with neuroscientists from the University of Bergen (Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, Kenneth Hugdahl and collaborators).

The speakers from both events will be invited to a boat trip to the fjords around Bergen on June 9th.

After the workshop, the organisers will consider seeking a publication outlet for the presented papers, either in an edited collection or in a journal special issue.

Fourth Meeting: Stockholm, 24 October 2016

On October 24, NorMind will be holding its fourth meeting at Stockholm University.

Speakers:

  • Gunnar Björnsson (Umeå)
  • Anandi Hattiangadi (Stockholm)
  • Susanna Radovic (Gothenburg)
  • Leo Townsend (Oslo)

The meeting is a general philosophy of mind and cognitive science workshop, open to both researchers working within and outside the Nordic region, though a central aim is to foster networking activities within the region. Everyone is welcome, especially early career students and scholars!

Registration is not necessary, but please, send a mail to kathrin.gluer [at] philosophy.su.se by October 10 if you want to join us for dinner (at your own expense).

http://www.philosophy.su.se/om-oss/nyheter/4th-normind-meeting-in-stockholm-1.292468

Program

10:30 – 10:45 Welcome
10:45 – 12:00 Anandi Hattiangadi (Stockholm University)
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch (own arrangements)
13:00 – 14:15 Leo Townsend (University of Oslo)
14:30 – 15:45 Susanna Radovic (Gothenburg University)
16:00 – 17:15 Gunnar Björnsson (Umeå University)
17:15 – 18:00 Open session

Venue: Gula Villan, Frescati Campus, Stockholm University

Campus Map: http://www.su.se/english/about/campus/maps/frescati?cache=

Note for students (PhD or MA level):
Students are able to give very short presentations (~5 min) of their projects within the open session toward the end of the day, if this facilitates the release of funding for attendance. Please contact kathrin.gluer [at] philosophy.su.se if this applies to you.

Abstracts:

Anandi Hattiangadi: Is Intentionality Grounded in Phenomenology?

Intentionality is the capacity to represent something in some way; it
essentially involves the instantiation of semantic properties,such as
meaning, reference, truth or content. One of the central issues in the
philosophical study of intentionality is this: what makes it the case that
an arbitrary representation has the semantic properties that it does
rather than some other semantic properties or none at all? The question
asks for the metaphysical foundations or grounds of intentionality, it
asks what constitutes intentionality, what determines the semantic facts.

This paper explores the limitations of an approach to this issue that has
recently been gaining in popularity: Phenomenalism, according to which
intentionality is ultimately grounded in phenomenology—the ‘what it is
like’ of conscious mental life. I will present a challenge to
Phenomenalism, and argue that intentionality is not grounded in
phenomenology.

Leo Townsend: Collective belief and collective commitment

This paper is about collective belief, where this refers to what we believe, as opposed to simply what you, on the one hand, and I, on the other hand, each believe. My aim is to propose a normativist account of collective belief inspired by the work of Margaret Gilbert on this topic. According to Gilbert’s account, two or more people collectively believe that p if and only if they are jointly committed to believing that p as a single body. But the way she construes joint commitment– as a commitment of and by the several parties to ‘doing something as a body’ – encourages the thought that the phenomenon accounted for is not that of genuine belief.  I explain why this concern arises and then explore an alternative way of construing the commitment constitutive of collective belief, in order to avoid the concern. This leads me to propose a slightly different account of collective belief, according to which two or more people collectively believe that p if and only if they are collectively committed to p’s being true.

Susanna Radovic: Acting from delusions – an investigation of the exculpatory force of delusions

Committing a criminal offence under the influence of a psychotic delusion can in most countries exempt a person from criminal responsibility. The basic idea is that if a person commits an unlawful act but is not aware of what she is doing or that it is wrong, she should not be held responsible for what she did. Delusions may misguide the person not only into believing things that are not true about the act itself, but also into believing that she should do (or is allowed to do) what she should not. Even though the content of the defendant’s delusions comes to the forefront in the court’s assessment of legal insanity, the exculpatory effect of delusions on criminal responsibility is rarely explicitly stated in the legal insanity standards. In this paper I will put forward and analyse some suggestions provided by legal scholars as well as court judges of how to explicate the exculpating force of acting under the influence of delusional beliefs.

Gunnar Björnsson: Cross-modal identification and the absurdity of physicalism

Even proponents have acknowledged that physicalism about consciousness seems unbelievable. The identification of conscious states with physical states strikes us as absurd in ways that other interesting identifications do not, such as the identification of liquidity and firm but non-rigid molecular connection. In this talk, I pursue the hypothesis that this sense of absurdity is to be expected given the workings of our capacities for cross-modal identifications and our experiential access to the states in question.

H2020 ETN Diaphora: 14 Early Stage Researchers in Philosophy

The European Training Network Diaphora, financed by the European Commission under grant agreement H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015-675415 and coordinated by the University of Barcelona, offers 14 3-year positions in philosophy at predoctoral level, starting 01.10.2016. Diaphora joins the Universities of Barcelona, Munich, Neuchâtel, Stirling, Stockholm and Edinburgh and the ENS Paris (Institut Jean Nicod) as consortium partners. Each consortium partner offers 2 predoctoral positions.

Diaphora serves as a research and training platform for collaborative research on the nature of philosophical problems, their resilience, the resources of persistent divergence of expert opinion about them, and their relation to conflicts in the practical sphere. It seeks to address these issues on the basis of first-level research into a number of notoriously hard philosophical problems and foundational issues in semantics and epistemology. Successful applicants are expected to conduct their doctoral research on topics within the remit of the network’s seven workpackages.

The deadline for applications is 08.02.2016 (at noon CET).

For further particulars, please consult:

http://www.ub.edu/grc_logos/files/user77/1453661865-DIAPHORA_call%20for%20applications.pdf

Third Meeting: CSMN, Oslo, January 14

Normind is holding its third workshop on January 14th at CSMN at the University of Oslo, and it would be great to see some (maybe many!) of you there. We welcome especially early career students and scholars! We hope that these meetings can generate a friendly, low-pressure, and inclusive platform for the exchange of ideas.
http://www.hf.uio.no/csmn/english/research/news-and-events/events/normind-3.html

Date: January 14th, 2016

The meeting is a general philosophy of mind and cognitive science workshop, open to both researchers working within and outside the Nordic region, though a central aim is to foster networking activities within the region.

Register by emailing Sebastian Watzl, sebaswat [at] csmn.uio.no with the subject line “Normind registration”. Please indicate if you intend to join us for dinner (at your own expense, cost: around 350 NOK).

Note for students (PhD or MA level):
Students are able to give very short presentations (~5 min) of their projects within the open session toward the end of the day, if this facilitates the release of funding for attendance. Please contact Sebastian if this applies to you.

Programme
10:30 – 10:45: Welcome
10:45 – 12:05: Åsa Wikforss (University of Stockholm)
12:05 – 12:50: Lunch
12:50 – 14:10: Donnchadh O’Conaill (University of Helsinki)
14:10 – 14:25: Break
14:25 – 15:45: Anna Drożdżowicz (University of Oslo)
15:45 – 16:00: Break
16:00 – 17:20: Pär Sundström (Umeå University)
17:20 – 18:00: Open session
18:15 – 19:15: Drinks
19:30: Dinner

Venue:
Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (University of Oslo)
Room 652
Georg Morgenstiernes Hus
Blindernveien 31
Maps:
https://goo.gl/TvpdvT (walk from Subway (T-Bane) stop ”Blindern”, Lines 4 + 6);
https://goo.gl/BgXwpe (walk from Tram (trikk) stop ”Universitetet Blindern”,  Lines 17+18)

More Philosophy:
Please note that surrounding the Normind Workshop there are also some other philosophy events here at CSMN that some of you may be interested in: e.g. The Thought and Sense Kickoff Workshop  and a Progress in Philosophy Workshop. You are, of course, welcome to attend those as well.

 

Sebastian, CSMN, University of Oslo

http://folk.uio.no/sebaswat/

CfP: CitSotMaB2016: CAUSALITY IN THE SCIENCES OF THE MIND AND BRAIN

CitSotMaB2016: CAUSALITY IN THE SCIENCES OF THE MIND AND BRAIN

June 27-29th 2016, Aarhus University, Denmark

This conference in the Causality in the Sciences (CitS) series will focus on causality in the sciences of the mind and brain. Included in these sciences are psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience. The questions that this conference will address include: What characterizes the notion of causation in the sciences of the mind and brain? Are different notions required for different sciences or experimental methods? Are there differences in the notions that are explicitly and implicitly assumed in the methods employed? What counts as causal evidence in these sciences? What role is played by information of interventions and physical mechanisms in identifying causal claims in the sciences of the mind and brain?

Continue reading

New Members Page

Dear All,

At NorMind #2 in Copenhagen it was decided that we’ll keep a roster of members. I’ve now put up a Members page (with one two entries so far).

To be listed, just email me, with your name (with your family name in ALL CAPS), a short text, a picture, and the address of your homepage, if you’d like me to link to that, and I’ll put it up.

Email-updates once a day

Dear All,

For reasons unknown to me, the settings controlling how often emails are sent to those subscribed to email updates had changed from ‘daily’ to ‘for every post’. I have changed it back, meaning (I hope) that subscribers will now at most get one email a day (although in practice much more rarely).

I apologise for the spam to your inboxes.

–Ole