Kick-off conference: MIND - The British Sources of Philosophy of Mind 1888-1949

September 12, 2024 - September 13, 2024
University of Liège

7, Place du Vingt Août
Liège 4000

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University of Southampton
Rice University
University College London
The College of New Jersey
University of Birmingham
King's College London
Leiden University


University of Liège
University of Liège
University of Liège
University of Liège

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We are delighted to announce the two-day kick-off conference of the project MIND - The British Sources of Philosophy of Mind 1888-1949.

MIND is a collaborative research project that aims to investigate the sources of present-day philosophy of mind in British analytic philosophy. According to a standard narrative, philosophy of mind was officially kicked off as a full-blown research program in the 1950s with the rise of the mind-brain identity theory (Place, Feigl, Smart) and its subsequent functionalist criticism.

A closer look at the history of analytic philosophy, however, reveals that this narrative is fraught with problems. Among other things, it overlooks the fact that most groundbreaking intuitions that later became game-changers in the field—such as the transparency intuition, the zombie intuition or the intuition underlying the knowledge argument—can in fact be traced to a family of British philosophers—the 'Cambridge family'—who published quite extensively on the nature of the mind before 1950. This intellectual family includes most notably G.F. Stout, the editor of Mind from 1892 to 1920, his two outstanding students in Cambridge, G.E. Moore and B. Russell, and his assistant at the University of St. Andrews, C.D. Broad.

MIND's primary objective is to put those authors on the map by reconstructing their original views on the relation between (1) mind and consciousness, (2) mind and body, and (3) mind and matter. Its secondary objective is to assess the potential of these views to advance current-day discussions relating to these topics.

A call for papers is also open.

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