Phenomenal Consciousness and the Physical World
Paul Coates (University of Hertfordshire)

February 12, 2014, 4:00am - 6:00am
University of Hertfordshire

United Kingdom

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Phenomenal Consciousness and the Physical World

A public lecture to be delivered by Paul Coates, Professor of Mind and Metaphysics


Wednesday 12 February 2014, 6:30  for 7.00 p.m.

N003 de Havilland Campus, University of Hertfordshire,

Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield

This is the final event in the four-year Phenomenal Qualities Project, a series of events supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of an investigation into the nature of sensory experience. Professor Paul Coates, the Principal Investigator of the project, will give a talk about the research work that has been carried out.


 What is consciousness? One of the deepest problems about the mind concerns the nature of the phenomenal character of our experiences. In seeing a red apple, hearing a bell, or tasting the flavour of a wine, and also in experiencing a pain or pleasurable sensation, a person is made aware of a range of phenomenal qualities. It is because of phenomenal experience that we say that there is 'something that it is like' to be a conscious being, something that distinguishes sentient creatures from the rest of the universe. Yet there is no easy way to account for phenomenal qualities. Whilst many theorists have sought to identify phenomenal states of mind directly with physical brain states, it is hard to understand how such consciousness fits in with the kinds of physical properties that our best scientific theories attribute to physical objects. One radical suggestion explored in recent work is that we may need to revise our views about the fundamental kinds of properties that make up the physical universe.

This is a free of charge public lecture. Please reserve your place in advance by contacting the Events Team by emailing [email protected] or call 01707 284121

Event registration and refreshments will be available from 18:30 in the Atrium of the de Havilland Campus, the lecture will start at 19:00 in N003.

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