Neural Mechanisms Online 2018: An Interim Report — and call for discussants

[The following is a guest post by the organizers of Neural Mechanisms Online. — JS]

Neural Mechanisms Online 2018 is a cycle of webinars (i.e. web seminars) on the philosophy of neuroscience. The speakers are several philosophers from all around the world, either junior or senior (see the calendar). The sessions are every second Friday, from 12 January to 13 July, and last two hours.

In the first part of the session (45 minutes), the speaker presents her/his paper (that has been previously shared via mailing list). Then there is a lot of time for Q&A and discussion. First, some questions are made by three or four expert discussants; and eventually, regular attendees might make a question to the speaker.

The whole session is supported by Cisco WebEx, a professional software sponsored by the University of Turin. The software allows to share slides and to record videos.

We, the organizers, are two Italian early career philosophers: Fabrizio Calzavarini, who obtained his PhD at the University of Turin, is interested in philosophy of language and neurosemantics; Marco Viola, who obtained his PhD at the School of Advanced Studies of Pavia, is a philosopher of cognitive neuroscience. (A third philosopher, the PhD student Agostino Pinna Pintor, is part of the Neural Mechanisms Team, but is not directly involved in the organization of NMOnline2018).

Four speakers have presented a paper since the beginning of 2018: Philipp Haueis, Marco Nathan, Charles Rathkopf, Edouard Machery. All the sessions are available on our YouTube channel, except Haueis’ (because and until his paper is currently under review). 20-30 participants connected each time. Overall, the mailing list includes almost 350 subscriptions – and is still growing. To be added, just a request to

The next session is scheduled for Friday 9 March. Colin Klein, from Canberra, will present a paper called “From Station to Station: notes towards a quantitative approach to cognitive ontology”. Unlike other sessions, that were held at 15 (3 PM) Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), this one is starting at 8 (AM) GMT.

In order to promote a greater turnover and to see new faces, for the first time we have made an open Call for Discussants: whoever is willing to candidate as a discussant might send his or her CV, along with a brief explanation of why (s)he is interested, to our email address


PS: by the end of March, we will announce great news. Keep an eye on our website and the Brains Blog or subscribe to our mailing list for more!

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