Phenomenality and Access

May 27, 2024 - May 28, 2024
Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences

Czech Republic

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New York University
Université de Fribourg


Czech Academy of Sciences
Czech Academy of Sciences
Czech Academy of Sciences
Czech Academy of Sciences

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We are pleased to announce that the 12th annual Ernst Mach Workshop will take place in Prague, on May 27–28, 2024. The workshop, organized by The Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences (, will focus on the topics of phenomenal consciousness, access consciousness, and self-consciousness. Our keynote speakers will be:

   - Ned Block (NYU)
   - Martine Nida-Rümelin (Université de Fribourg)

The apparent existence of phenomenal consciousness, the property due to which there is something it’s like for an organism to be in mental and physical states has attracted much philosophical and scientific attention. Our workshop will aim to contribute to a better understanding of phenomenal consciousness by focusing on the relation between phenomenal states and one’s (conceptual) access to them, on the nature, the scope and the forms of self-consciousness that might be inherent to phenomenal consciousness, on the relation between phenomenal consciousness and (introspective) attention, and other related topics.

The questions examined at the workshop will include:

   - What is the relation between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness? Could there be one without the other?
   - Do phenomenal states necessarily involve one’s awareness of these states? If so, what is the nature and scope of this (self-)awareness?
   - How plausible is the ‘phenomenal overflow’ thesis?
   - Does an adequate understanding of phenomenal consciousness or self-consciousness commit one to positing subjects in any strong sense?
   - Can phenomenal consciousness or self-consciousness be accounted for in representationalist terms?
   - Can phenomenal consciousness, access consciousness and self-consciousness be reductively explained?
   - What are the neural correlates of phenomenal consciousness, access consciousness and self-consciousness?
   - What significance do considerations about one's awareness of (or access to) phenomenal consciousness have for anti-physicalist arguments?
   - What significance do the so called ‘change blindness’ and ‘inattentional blindness’ cases have for issues about access consciousness and self-consciousness? How are these cases best interpreted?
   - How is access consciousness best construed? Does it qualify as a genuine form of consciousness?
   - How is (introspective) attention to phenomenal consciousness best understood? How reliable is it? 
Presentations on other, closely related topics, relevant to the research interests of our keynote speakers, are also welcome. The workshop is discussion-oriented and contributed papers are given larger time slots, up to 45 minutes per presentation (including discussion). 
If you’re interested in participating in this in-person workshop, please send an anonymized 300-word abstract of your paper to [email protected] by March 31, 2024. (This e-mail address can also be used for enquiries regarding the workshop).

Notification of acceptance: mid-April, 2024

More information about the workshop:

There is no registration fee for the workshop. The event is sponsored by the Strategy AV 21 program of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

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