List of Upcoming Events

"Attitudes Towards Consciousness in Cognitive Science" - James Preston Lennon, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate, Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS)

Thursday, March 07, 2024, 02:00pm - 03:30pm

152 Frelinghuysen Rd, Psych Bldg. Busch Campus, RuCCS, Room A139

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  • Chomsky (1976): “It may be expected that conscious beliefs will form a scattered and probably uninteresting subpart of the full cognitive structure.”
  • Sellars to Dennett (1991): “But Dan, qualia are what make life worth living!”
  • Fodor (2007): “The hard problem [of consciousness] really is very hard . . . it isn’t going to get solved for free.”
  • Chalmers (2022): “I’m inclined to think that value arises, one way or another, from consciousness.”

    There may be no more divisive topic within our field than consciousness. It seems to present a particularly hard problem for the familiar explanatory methods of the cognitive sciences. Faced with the difficulty of the hard problem of consciousness, exotic metaphysical positions emerge within philosophy: perhaps consciousness does not actually exist! Perhaps consciousness pervades everything! In this hivemind, we’ll gauge RuCCS’s collective attitudes toward consciousness. Do questions about consciousness ever come up in your work, or is it ever implicated in what you study? If so, how, and in what way? Do you think, like Chomsky, that conscious representations do not form a particularly interesting subpart of the mind? Do you think that when it comes to consciousness, “there be dragons,” and that thinking about consciousness is best left to others? Do you share sympathies with the exotic metaphysical positions? How might our attitudes towards consciousness accord with the apparent value of consciousness? Come discuss these questions, and more, in a fun and informal way!thumb 331 801



Hive Mind is a new working group for the RuCCS community. The goal of the group is to offer a space for casual conversations and collaborative thinking about work-in-progress, new research directions, or topics we want to learn more about.