CFA: The Contents of Consciousness


Workshop: The Contents of Consciousness

Organised by the Architecture of Consciousness project, the University of Manchester

Date: 20–21 July, 2015

Submission deadline: 27 March 2015

The Contents of Consciousness workshop will explore issues pertaining to the admissible contents of phenomenal consciousness. One set of issues concerns the debate between those who hold that only ‘low-level’ properties (such as colour, shape, and texture) can figure in the contents of perceptual experience and those who hold that ‘high-level’ properties (such as being a wombat, being morally permissible, or being a rural scene) can also figure in the contents of perceptual consciousness. Is there any principled way of drawing the contrast between ‘low-level’ and ‘high level’ properties? How might empirical considerations be brought to bear on this debate? Is the debate a genuine one, or are discussants talking past one another, perhaps because of differences in how they interpret the terms employed in the debate? Another set of issues concerns the ways in which features might need to be integrated with each other in order to figure in phenomenal consciousness. Can features enter phenomenal consciousness without being bound together, or is a certain kind of binding a prerequisite of phenomenal admissibility? A third set of issues concerns ways in which accounts of the admissible contents of consciousness might constrain theories of consciousness. Might an account of the contents of consciousness contain clues as to the nature of consciousness? We invite submissions addressing any of these or related questions.

The organisers invite proposals for short presentations (10mins + 5mins Q&A) in which speakers can introduce their work on issues surrounding the contents of consciousness. Abstracts of no more than 500 words suitable for anonymous review should be sent to by 27th March 2015. Applicants are welcome from all relevant disciplines including (but not limited to) philosophy, cognitive psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Submissions from graduate students and early- career researchers are particularly welcome. To find out more about the project please visit our webpage at to keep up with future news join our Facebook page at

Invited speakers:
  • Farid Masrour
  • Myrto Mylopoulos
  • Jeff Speaks
  • David Whitney
  • Helen Yetter-Chappell

The Contents of Consciousness is the second in a series of workshops held in connection with the University of Manchester’s Architecture of Consciousness project. Funded by the European Research Council (ERC), this project is directed by Prof. Tim Bayne and aims to develop a model of the structural features of consciousness.