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Departmental Colloquium, 2019/2020

Colloquia take place from 4.15pm to 6:00pm in OC1.07 (Oculus Building) unless otherwise indicated. For further information, please contact Naomi Eilan ( or Barnaby Walker ( Details of previous years’ colloquia can be found here.

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Philosophy Department Colloquium - James Stazicker (KCL)

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Location: S0.18

Dear Colleagues,


You are warmly invited to the first Departmental Colloquium of Term 2, which will take place at 4pm, Wednesday 17 January, Room S0.18.


Speaker: James Staziker (KCL)


False measures in the science and philosophy of consciousness


According to a widespread contemporary view of the mind, consciousness plays less of a role than was traditionally assumed: much of perception, decision and action occurs independently of our conscious experiences. I will criticise one central line of scientific support for this view, which measures consciousness by a subject’s capacity to identify and discriminate their experiences and actions. This style of measurement underestimates consciousness, and is not justified even if we grant that, necessarily, subjects are aware of their own conscious experiences. In search of a better measure, I look to philosophical accounts of the first-order, demonstrative thoughts most immediately related to conscious perception and action. But here we find the same problem: our best philosophical account individuates these thoughts by subjects’ capacity to discriminate their experiences. I trace the problem to broadly Fregean criteria for individuating thoughts, propose a related solution, and discuss implications for the science of consciousness.



Their next colloquium will take place on 28 February with Kate Kirkpatrick on ’The Myth of Recognition in The Second Sex’.


I hope to see you on Wednesday!





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