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Announcing ‘The Science of Consciousness’ online conference, 2021

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.


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.

Our free Analytic Idealism Course is now online!

Our free Analytic Idealism Course is now online!

Learning | Ontology

The editors | 2021-06-01

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Today we’re releasing a complete, carefully produced but free online course on Analytic Idealism, perhaps the most modern and intellectually compelling formulation of Idealism currently available. The course is based on a series of seven videos, totaling over 6 hours of content. It is conducted by Essentia Foundation’s executive director, Bernardo Kastrup.

This entirely video-based course has been in the making since early 2021! According to Bernardo Kastrup, it is the most complete, in-depth video series he has ever produced on Analytic Idealism. Don’t miss out on the chance to follow it and become conversant in the most compelling and well-substantiate metaphysical alternative to physicalism currently available.

Analytic Idealism maintains that the universe is experiential in essence. That does not mean that reality is in your or our individual minds alone, but instead in a spatially unbound, transpersonal field of subjectivity of which we are segments. Analytic Idealism is one particular formulation of Idealism, which is based on and motivated by post-enlightenment values such as conceptual parsimony, coherence, internal logical consistency, explanatory power and empirical adequacy. It’s a formulation that will appeal to intellectually hard-nosed, left-brained, science-oriented people, but isn’t the sole formulation of Idealism.

To follow the course, click here!