Archive for September, 2012
WORKSHOP II – 5 & 6 November
(see also Workshop I: 8 — 9 Oct , and Workshop III: 3 — 4 December)
Organised by: Department of Philosophy, University of Fribourg, Avenue de l’Europe 20, Switzerland
Co-Sponsored by: Olaf Blanke, Laboratory of Neuroscience, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
The Affective Self
- Jan Slaby, Dept. of Philosophy, Free University Berlin, Berlin, Germany
- John Lambie, Dept. of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK
- Eric Olson, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
The Dualistic Self
- Martine Nida-Rümelin, Dept. of Philosophy, Fribourg University, Switzerland
Self-Knowledge in Agency
- Lucy O’Brien, Dept. of Philosophy, University College London, London, UK
Everyone welcome | No Registration fee
All enquiries to: email@example.com
-> For a detailed schedule and the workshop poster, please see:
Salon des Professeurs, Room 2113, Misericorde, Avenue de l’Europe 20, Fribourg, Switzerland
(half-way between first & second floor, by the staircase, same level as cafeteria) http://www.unifr.ch/map/de/misericorde.php
‘Considered as a unitary object, the self is full of apparent contradictions. It is simultaneously physical and mental, public and private, directly perceived and incorrectly imagined, universal and culture-specific’ (p. 35). ‘[These different aspects or selves] are all experienced, though perhaps not all with the same quality of consciousness. And they are all valued (…)’.
Neisser, U. (1988) Five kinds of Self-Knowledge, Phil. Psychol. 1, 35 – 59 (p. 36)
The question of what self-consciousness, and, more specifically, the sense of self might amount to has been at the very centre of inquiries into the human condition across different ages, cultures and academic disciplines. The answers that have emerged in the past not only revealed different theoretical and practical approaches towards the self, depending on what was assumed that we are aware of in self-consciousness, but also importantly indicated that, in being self-conscious, we take ourselves to be aware of sometimes radically different aspects of the self or indeed of altogether distinct selves.
In these interdisciplinary workshops that draw on sources from philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience, we want to explore how self-consciousness, understood broadly, intimates to us these different aspects of the particular self or kind of self we seemingly are and how these diverse self-related elements (or ‘selves’) not only form a unified whole, if they do, but also how the related conceptions of the self integrate with our general theories and assumptions about the world.
To this end, we will be discussing, inter alia, the phenomenology of self-experience; the (dis)unity of the self; self and agency; biological & evolutionary roots of the self; the emotional/affective self; the idea of a minimal self; the self and the brain; the conceptual versus non-conceptual content of self-consciousness; the embodied self; the first-person versus third-person perspective; the psychopathology of the self; the dualistic nature of the self; the problem of self-knowledge; multi-sensory integration and body awareness; the persistence of the self through time; and prospects for a unified theory of self-consciousness and the self.
Participants in the workshops will have an opportunity to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the diverse aspects surrounding the problem of self-consciousness and the self. Being able to discuss core issues with leading experts in philosophy, psychology and neuroscience will alert participants to the challenges and opportunities in this line of research and will, furthermore, demonstrate to them theoretical and practical strategies of how successful theories of self-consciousness and the self can be formulated.
The organisers wish to acknowledge the kind support of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF 101115-140203 / 1)
Tuesday 13 December 2011
University of Birmingham
Room G52 in the European Research Institute building (Pritchatts Road)
11am – 6pm (plus refreshments before & after)
There is no registration fee, but please register before 1st December by sending an email to the local organiser, Darragh Byrne (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The full program is now online here
Visual Embodiment Project (CIN 2011-16) at the Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Tuebingen (Germany)
1,365€-1,416€ per month (tax free fellowship)
November 30, 2011
The Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN) is an interdisciplinary institution at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, funded by the German Excellence Initiative programme. The CIN strives to advance our understanding of the mind/brain by studying how the brain generates and sustains mental functions and how brain diseases impair these functions.
As part of its integrative approach to studying the mind/brain, the CIN offers a postdoctoral research fellowship for promising researchers in the field of philosophy of psychology and neuroscience. The candidate should either be a philosopher with a strong background in philosophy of mind/psychology/ neuroscience and a track record of interacting with empirical work in cognitive science, or a cognitive scientist with a strong track record of interacting with philosophy. Candidates should have a PhD or be very close to completing a PhD by the time of appointment.
The successful candidate will be a member of the CIN’s Philosophy of Neuroscience (PONS) group, led by Dr. Hong Yu Wong, and will be a postdoctoral research fellow on the visual embodiment project (CIN 2011-16) that the PONS Group is embarking on in collaboration with the Perception and Action in Virtual Environments Group at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen (Dr. Betty Mohler, Dr. Sally Linkenauger, and Prof Heinrich H. Buelthoff). More details of the Project can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/whywong/collaborators
The postdoctoral fellow will do research on the philosophical foundations of body perception, investigating such questions as how embodiment structures perception and action. The postdoctoral fellow is expected to develop an independent line on body perception, and contribute to a new conceptual framework within which we can understand notions such as embodiment, the sense of body ownership, and the sense of agency and control. These philosophical investigations are expected to lead to implementation and experimental testing of ideas with our collaborators at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen. As the MPI Biological Cybernetics is among the foremost virtual reality laboratories in the world, this collaboration will provide opportunities for us to probe theoretical claims in virtual reality in ways which cannot be physically implemented. In addition, the postdoctoral fellow will co-ordinate the research activities associated with the Tuebingen Body Perception Forum, a Forum set up to consolidate body perception research in the Tuebingen area.
The duration of the position is for 2 years provisional on the renewal of the CIN Excellence Cluster for a second funding period after October 2012. The working language of the CIN is English. The candidate will be provided with opportunities to contribute to graduate teaching at the CIN Graduate Training Centre and the university faculties associated with the CIN. If desired, the university will provide opportunities to do a German “Habilitation” (second book) according to established rules. The planned start date of the position is January 1, 2012. Earlier or later start dates are negotiable.
According to German law, severely disabled persons with equal occupational aptitude will be given preferential consideration.
The University of Tuebingen strives to promote equal opportunities in science and is committed to increasing the percentage of females in teaching and research. Qualified female candidates are thus strongly encouraged to apply.
Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, one sample of their philosophical writing (not to exceed 10,000 words), a one page statement relating their research to the aims of the visual embodiment project, and two reference letters. Candidates should request their referees to email Dr. Wong directly with their reference letters by the deadline. All documents should be submitted electronically (pdf) to the Group Leader of the Philosophy of Neuroscience Group, Dr. Hong Yu Wong, at email@example.com. The deadline for applications is November 30, 2011. Inquiries about the post should be directed to Dr. Wong.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to work with the PONS group in Tuebingen for a trial period during December 5-9, 2011.
For further information on the CIN and the Philosophy of Neuroscience Group
4-6 July 2012
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Call for abstracts open until January 15th 2012
Please visit http://www.uu.nl/hum/mindinganimals
This conference is the second in a series of conferences about scientific, ethical and social issues related to human interactions with and uses of animals.
The aim of the conference is to bring together academics from different areas (animal welfare, animal ethics, and animal studies in general) with politicians and a broad variety of interest groups.
The conference offers a platform for exchange of information about research developments, debates about controversial political and ethical issues concerning the treatment of animals and a variety of cultural activities around animals.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Prof. Colin Allen, Professor of Philosophy, specialized in Philosophy of Biology and Cognitive Science, in particular animal behaviour and cognition
- Prof. Marc Bekoff, Emeritus Professor of Animal Behaviour, author of numerous books about animal capacities and the human-animal relationship
- Prof. John Coetzee, Nobel Prize winning author
- Prof. Julia Driver, Professor of Philosophy, exploring a Humean account of duties towards animals
- Prof. Robert Garner, Professor of Political Theory, specialized in the political representation of non-human interests and animal rights
- Prof. Dale Jamieson, Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy
- Prof. Christine Korsgaard, Professor of Philosophy, developped a novel Kantian account of our duties towards animals
- Prof. Will Kymlicka, Professor of Political Philosophy, recently co-authored a book on political philosophy and animal rights
- Prof. James McGaugh, Research Professor of Neurobiology and Behaviour, author of ‘Memory and Emotion: The Making of Lasting Memories’
- Raj Panjwani, practicising lawyer of the Supreme Court of India, specialised in animal protection.
- Prof. Harriet Ritvo, Professor of Philosophy, specialised in the history of human-animal relationships
- Jill Robinson, animal protectionis and founder of Animals Asia
- Prof. Paul Schnabel, Professor of Sociology and director of the Dutch Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau
- Prof. Peter Singer, Professor of Philosophy, developed a utilitarian approach to animal ethics
Monday 12th of December 2011
Philosophy Department, University of Birmingham
Room G51, ERI Building, University of Birmingham Campus
Please note that this workshop takes place the day before the 4th Mind Network Workshop in Birmingham. It woud a good opportunity to attend both meetings!
4pm-5.15pm Åsa Wikforss (Stockholm University): “Self-Knowledge: A Special Kind of Knowledge?”
5.15pm-5.30pm Coffee and Tea
5.30pm-6.45pm Cynthia Macdonald (University of Manchester) “Self-Knowledge and the ‘Inner Eye’”
6.45pm onwards – Drinks and Dinner
According to a legend, the words ‘Know thyself’ were inscribed in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. This aphorism has always fascinated philosophers. Plato, for example, discussed it in at least six of his dialogues. More recently, philosophers have been very interested in self-knowledge understood as knowledge about our own mental states. The presentations at this workshop will discuss the recent work on how is it that we can know what we think. They also explore the special features of this kind knowledge.
The workshop is open to all audiences, and there is no attendance fee (refreshments will be free, but drinks and dinner will not be included).
For any enquiries, please contact Dr Jussi Suikkanen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
“Self-Knowledge: A Special Kind of Knowledge”
In my paper I examine the claim that self-knowledge is epistemologically special. My focus is on knowledge of our own beliefs. Two claims are often made: First, that this knowledge is better or safer than ordinary empirical knowledge. Second, that it involves a special kind of justification, since it can neither be said to be based on observation, nor on inferences from other beliefs. I argue that both of these claims are problematic. In particular, I argue that the arguments against the observational and inferential models fail. Instead, I suggest, self-knowledge should be treated as an ordinary species of empirical knowledge.
- Åsa Wikforss received her PhD at Columbia University in 1996, and is currently a professor in theoretical philosophy at Stockholm University, Sweden. Her principal interest is in philosophy of mind and language. Her work includes papers on the normativity of meaning and content, on semantic externalism, on natural kinds, and on self-knowledge.
“Self-Knowledge and the ‘Inner Eye’”
Tyler Burge has argued that the basic core cases of authoritative self-knowledge are the ‘cogito-like’ ones. These are thoughts that are contextually self-verifying because, in thinking the thought, one makes the thought true. One makes it true because the state thought about is literally a part or constituent of the thinking state. In thinking that I am thinking that Manchester is north of London, I am thinking that Manchester is north of London. The knowledge possessed by subjects in such cases is infallible for this reason. This has been called the ‘same-order’ view of authoritative self-knowledge. I first consider problems with this view, then formulate a response to it. The response is a version of what is known as Detectivism, a view that appeals to an observational basis for authoritative self-knowledge.
- Cynthia MacDonald is a professor in philosophy at the University of Manchester. She has held the Belle van Zuylen Visiting Professorship at the University of Utrecht, and Visiting Professorships at the Queen’s University, Belfast, Rutgers University and Columbia University. Her primary research interests lie in an area intersecting philosophy of mind and metaphysics, and in cognitive science.
The University of Glasgow has a vacancy for a postdoc to participate in our project, The Nature of Pain: Hedonic Tone, Motivation, and Non-Human Animals.
The project is based in the Philosophy Department (School of Humanities).
Its PIs are:
Running from 1 January 2012 to 30 June 2013, this interdisciplinary project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, will involve three workshops, a final conference, and various research outputs. The wider team includes philosophers, psychologists, neuro- and veterinary scientists. The post is full-time and the post holder will (i) help administer the project, in particular playing a central role in organising the workshops and conference; (ii) conduct his or her own research on the project’s themes; and (iii) undertake a small amount of undergraduate teaching in philosophy.
Closing date for applications: 25 November 2011.
Informal enquiries may be directed to either of the PIs.
NB. Although the job description refers to a research assistant, the post holder’s roles will include research and teaching, not merely administration.