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

Submission deadline: May 15, 2024

Conference date(s):
September 12, 2024 - September 13, 2024

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

University of Liège
Liège, Belgium

Topic areas


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.

Call for Papers

We invite proposals (title and abstract, max 700 words, anonymized) from academics, young and senior researchers, as well as graduate students to be sent to [email protected] by May 15th.

Contributions should be suitable for a 40/45-minute presentation + approx. 20-minute Q&A.

The talks should fit the topic of the project. Here is a non-exhaustive list of possible topics:

  • The philosophical foundations of scientific psychology in early analytic philosophy;
  • Intentionality and the Brentanian legacy in the ‘Cambridge family’;
  • The method of analysis: the Cambridge approach to the mind;
  • The origin of contemporary pathbreaking intuitions in the ‘Cambridge family’;
  • Theoretical claims: the relation between mind, body, consciousness, and matter in the ‘Cambridge family’;
  • Stout’s philosophical views and his significance.

Selected speakers are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs. Information on accommodation options is available upon request.

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