Metaphysics of Consciousness Conference at Edimburgh


Royal Institute of Philosophy

The Metaphysics of Consciousness

A Conference in Honour of T.L.S. Sprigge (1932–2007)

Edinburgh, 7–9 July 2009

What is consciousness? What is its place in the

physical universe? How did it arise in the

course of cosmic evolution? Can there be a

genuine scientific understanding of

consciousness? These and related questions

occupy a prominent place in contemporary studies

in metaphysics and philosophy of mind worldwide,

often involving complex interdisciplinary

connections between philosophy, psychology,

artificial intelligence (informatics), biology, and

cognitive neuroscience. At the same time, these

questions play a fundamental role in the

philosophies of great thinkers of the past such as,

among others, Descartes, Leibniz, William James,

Edmund Husserl, A.N. Whitehead and Heidegger.

This conference will bring together systematically

oriented historians of philosophy and

contemporary philosophers of mind to re-examine

inherited views and spark fruitful lines of future

inquiry. The conference is held in honour of the late

Timothy L.S. Sprigge – one of Edinburgh’s most

distinguished metaphysicians and author of

insightful writings on the nature of consciousness.


Please visit the conference website at:


  1. anonymous

    Consciousness cannot be controlled outside of the brain. In order to figure it out, first you have to understand that all things are related in some way or another. There are opposites, while at the same time there are different levels of events and happenings that are really the same — but on different scales. Most of us, because we live on the horizon, are only able to see 3 levels — above, here, and below, happy, neutral and sad, white, gray and black, etc. There are more than 3 levels, but to understand them you have to know that all these things are related. Being that we are on the horizon, that means we are everything –we are of the ocean and we are of the sky. Sleep is part of the earth; consciousness is part of the sky. Dreams are controlled by darkness; imagination is controlled by light. We have both—-consciousness and subconsciousness. Consciousness is the one most of us feel comfortable with because we “think” we can control it. Subconsciousness is non-thinking. So, being that there are 3 levels, we have consciousness, ?, and subconsciousness. You can see all things being the same on different levels as well. People are studying how to cure cancer and all they have to do is understand black holes in space and how to destroy them. It’s just the same…..cancer cells, ?, black holes.

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