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Announcing ‘The Science of Consciousness’ online conference, 2021

Debating | Consciousness

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Every year Essentia Foundation organizes an online conference featuring some of the world’s leading scholars, scientists and academics, on a topic relevant to ontological idealism. This year, we are delighted to focus on The Science of Consciousness, in a very special edition of the conference organized by Prof. dr. Sarah Durston. We’re even more delighted to count as our partners, this time, the Sentience and Science Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Study of the University of Amsterdam.

One of the greatest questions we face is the nature of consciousness. Currently, the most widely accepted scientific framework is materialism: the idea that the world around us and everything in it, including ourselves, arises from the interplay of underlying material substances. Within this framework, consciousness is the result of brain processes. Yet, materialist neuroscience has not yet been able to pinpoint consciousness in the brain. Furthermore, the materialist framework does not explain the phenomenon of subjective experience and leaves no room for human values, including meaning, compassion and humanity. At this conference, we will explore different metaphysical frameworks that include materialism, but also alternatives such as idealism, which may contradict or complement materialism.

The Conference will take place on November 2nd and 4th 2021, online, from 2:00 to 5:00 PM CET. Each session will include presentations by renowned speakers and a panel session, with opportunity for questions from, and debate with, the audience.

Program

November 2nd

14:00     Does the evidence indicate that experience is (generated by) brain activity?
                Dr. Bernardo Kastrup, author and director of Essentia Foundation

14:35     Consciousness: flexibility, risk factor, wisdom
               Prof.dr. Henk Barendregt, emeritus professor of mathematical logic, Radboud University

15:10     The predictive mind
               Prof.dr. Heleen Slagter, professor of brain, cognition and plasticity, Free University Amsterdam

15:45     An introduction to Panspiritism: How Fundamental Consciousness Becomes Individual Consciousness
               Dr. Steve Taylor, author and lecturer at Leeds Beckett University

16:20     Panel Discussion

17:00     End

November 4th

14:00     Emergence in the Universe & the Human Mind
               Prof.dr. Erik Verlinde, professor of theoretical physics, University of Amsterdam

14:35     Blobs of order: being in between below above
               Dr. Esmee Geerken, Arts Science fellow, UvA Institute for Advanced Study

15:10     Higher Dimensions of Consciousness?
               Dr. Jacob Jolij, author and lecturer at Groningen University

15:45     Consciousness as relational
               Dr. Iain McGilchrist, author, psychiatrist and former Oxford literary scholar

16:20     Panel Discussion

17:00     End

 

We will be publishing the videos of the conference over the next few weeks. After each publication, we will link the video to the respective agenda entry above.

Subhash MIND BEFORE MATTER scaled

Essentia Foundation communicates, in an accessible but rigorous manner, the latest results in science and philosophy that point to the mental nature of reality. We are committed to strict, academic-level curation of the material we publish.

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Fictions and simulations: The case for idealism

A new, creative and compelling argument—even a new type of argument—for idealism is elaborated upon in this long-form essay, which is fluid and easy to read.

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Falling for naive common-sense: Russell and physical realism (The Return of Metaphysics)

The story of our falling for naive physical realism—the notion that we can become directly acquainted with non-mental entities, which are supposed to have standalone existence—in the early 20th century, and how modern thought is now bringing us back to more mature Idealism.

From the archives

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The Three Minds, read and commented on by Nadia Hassan

The article Nadia Hassan reads today shines an important light on the field of medicine, allopathic medicine in particular, and questions the largely biomedical approach underpinning mainstream practice. It argues for a more connected and balanced view, one in which the role of mind is paramount in understanding illness, and the process of healing.

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The futile search for the non-mental: Derrida’s critique of metaphysics (The Return of Metaphysics)

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Higher dimensions of consciousness?

In this much anticipated presentation of the ‘Science of Consciousness’ conference 2021, dr. Jacob Jolij brings advanced physics and philosophy of mind together, to discuss higher dimensions of consciousness.

Reading

Essays

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Interview with Dr. Iain McGilchrist, on the nature of reality (Part 2)

Here is the second and final part of our interview with Dr. Iain McGilchrist, on the nature of reality. Unmissable!

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Interview with Dr. Iain McGilchrist, on consciousness and its role in nature

Essentia Foundation’s Natalia Vorontsova interviews psychiatrist and author Dr. Iain McGilchrist about his new work, “The Matter with Things,” and the role of consciousness in nature. Unmissable!

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The Three Minds, read and commented on by Nadia Hassan

The article Nadia Hassan reads today shines an important light on the field of medicine, allopathic medicine in particular, and questions the largely biomedical approach underpinning mainstream practice. It argues for a more connected and balanced view, one in which the role of mind is paramount in understanding illness, and the process of healing.

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The futile search for the non-mental: Derrida’s critique of metaphysics (The Return of Metaphysics)

Jacques Derrida argued that finding some ‘uncontaminated’ presence of reality is impossible, for our experiences are determined by our mental contexts. Yet, perhaps far from refuting metaphysics, Derrida may actually make a case for the recognition that our reality isn’t just contaminated by the mental, but is mental.

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Higher dimensions of consciousness?

In this much anticipated presentation of the ‘Science of Consciousness’ conference 2021, dr. Jacob Jolij brings advanced physics and philosophy of mind together, to discuss higher dimensions of consciousness.

Seeing

Videos

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Mind may be older than we think

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The Collapse

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Idealism rediscovered (The Return of Metaphysics)

Prof. Paul Redding highlights the recently rediscovered importance of German Idealism, particularly Hegel’s idealism, in articulating solutions to present-day problems.

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