Phenomenal Mindreading: Attributing Conscious Experiences to Onself and Others

November 21, 2013 - November 23, 2013
Ruhr University Bochum


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Tim Bayne
University of Manchester
Kurt Gray
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Catrin Misselhorn
Universität Stuttgart
Shaun Nichols
University of Arizona
Cornell University
Olga Pollatos
Universität Ulm


Luca Barlassina
Ruhr University Bochum
Albert Newen
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Kevin Reuter
Ruhr University Bochum
Markus Werning
Ruhr University Bochum

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Conscious experiences occupy a central position in our mental lives. Imagine how  our lives would be impoverished if we cannot see colors, smell odors, experience emotions, etc. Analogously, third-person phenomenal mindreading, i.e., the ability to attribute conscious experiences to other individuals, plays a fundamental role in understanding others. Indeed, the ability to recognize whether someone is feeling pain, or is experiencing disgust is arguably as important as the ability to attribute beliefs and desires. Importantly, human beings are also able to attribute conscious experiences to themselves. For example, when an adult human being experiences sadness, she is also typically able to determine that she is having such an experience. In a nutshell, human beings also perform first-person phenomenal mindreading. The aim of this conference is to investigate first-person and  third-person phenomenal mindreading from an interdisciplinary point of view that combines philosophy, psychology and neuroscience. In doing so, we intend to address some of the most puzzling and open questions and problems in this area.  

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