9th Descartes Lectures: Large Language Models & Philosophy of Mind

July 29, 2024 - July 31, 2024
TiLPS, Tilburg University


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New York University
Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Utrecht University
Umeå University


Tilburg University
Tilburg University

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The use and effectiveness of large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT-3+, and especially their ability to generate increasingly humanlike outputs, raise a number of pressing philosophical questions.

The 2024 Descartes Lectures focus on how LLMs impact debates in the philosophy of mind. Questions to consider here include: Can language models or their extensions be conscious? Can such model be said to “understand”? Can these systems think, given the (apparent) absence of sensory grounding? Can LLMs extend the human mind, and, if so, how?

By reflecting on these questions, we will not only get a better grip on the capacities of AI systems, but also shed light on more traditional issues in the philosophy of mind.


Every other year, a distinguished philosopher visits Tilburg Universityand the Tilburg Center for Moral Philosophy, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Science (TiLPS) to deliver the René Descartes Lectures.

We are happy to announce that the 2024 Descartes Lectures will be delivered by Prof. David Chalmers (NYU) on the topic of ‘Large Language Models and the Philosophy of Mind’. Each of Prof. Chalmers’ lectures will be followed by an invited commentary from our panel of respondents: Prof. Vincent C. Müller (FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg), Dr. Emily Sullivan (Utrecht), and Prof. Pär Sundström (Umeå).

Parallel to the lectures & invited commentaries, Tilburg University will host a workshop on the topic of LLMs & The Philosophy of Mind.

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June 28, 2024, 9:00am CET

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