CFP: The Ontology of Conscious Experience

The Ontology of Conscious Experience

University of Leeds, 8th-9th July 2015

Keynote speakers

  • Matthew Soteriou (Warwick)
  • Helen Steward (Leeds)
  • Heather Logue (Leeds)

Work on consciousness has tended to overlook the ontological status and structure of experiences, focusing instead on whether they can be explained by reference to non-experiential processes or events. The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers interested in the ontology of conscious experience, to establish which topics might be most fruitful as regards further research, and to outline an agenda for further work in this area.

Specific issues to be considered include:

(i) The ontological category or categories to which experiences belong – for instance, are they events, states or processes?

(ii) The mereological structure of experiences – can an experience be said to have proper parts? If so, what are its proper parts?

(iii) Adverbial vs act-object accounts of experiences – can adverbialism capture the ontological structure of consciousness without the need for positing some object (mental or in the external world) of which the experience involves awareness?

(iv) The phenomenal character of an experience – must it be intrinsic to the experience, or can it involve relations to entities other than the experience (e.g., other experiences or other mental states)?

(v) Experiences as individuals – if they are, what individuates them: their subjects, the causal bases or dispositions which must be manifested for experiences to occur, their belonging to a particular stream of consciousness, etc.?

We shall consider papers on any of the above issues, or on any topics which relate to the overall conference theme.

Papers will be 30 minutes in length. Please send abstracts of 300-500 words to Donnchadh O’Conaill (D.O’ by April 3rd 2015. Decisions on speakers will be made within two weeks of this date.

This event is being held thanks to the support of the Centre for Metaphysics and Mind, University of Leeds, the ERC Nature of Representation Project, and a Minor Conference Grant from the Mind Association.