CFP EXTENDED: Ryerson University Philosophy Graduate Conference

March 16, 2018
Department of Philosophy , Ryerson University, Toronto

Oakham Lounge
63 Gould Street
Toronto M5B1E9

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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Mary Jeanne Larrabee
DePaul University
Antoine Panaïoti
Ryerson University

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DEADLINE EXTENDED: December 29, 2017

Selfhood: A Dialogue Between Phenomenology and Neurocentrism 

Ryerson University Philosophy Graduate Conference
Keynote: Dr. Mary Jeanne Larrabee (DePaul University) 
Faculty Keynote: Dr. Antoine Pana
Conference Dates: March 16, 2017
Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario

What would it mean to go behind phenomena, to give the reason for phenomena? In their attempt to reveal the causal source of psychoneural events, the fields of cognitive and biological science have largely neglected non-traditional approaches to questions of selfhood. What good has come from this? Some have argued that first-person perspective as a source of evidence can but obfuscate the results of inquiry into mental causation. Phenomenologists, on the other hand, can be seen as reaffirming the belief that the mind does not exist in a vacuum: laboratory findings are seldom compatible with evidence derived from the world of experience. Phenomenology lays claim to the following criticism: by asking the question ‘what is in the brain?’ we often neglect the question ‘what is the brain in?’

A holistic conception of selfhood has yet to be reached, and the empirical ‘hard’ sciences remain straightjacketed by the allure of what can be quantified. Why is it that attentiveness to one’s own experience is largely absent within the field of cognitive science? This conference seeks to address the demarcations created by the Western approach to questions of selfhood, to explore their merits, and discuss alternative approaches. Papers addressing the application of phenomenology in medicine and psychiatry, points of contention with the neurocentric approach to selfhood, and alternative approaches to questions of selfhood addressed in Indigenous, Taoist and Buddhist philosophies are particularly encouraged.

 Applicants might also consider the following questions, though this is by no means an exhaustive list:

- What is the philosophical history behind this shift towards naturalizing phenomena? 

- How can the phenomenological method inform the natural sciences, or vice versa?

- Are there alternative approaches to selfhood and cognition that could better serve individuals whose first-person perspectives are misunderstood under the current Western medical of selfhood?

- What are the main differences between Eastern philosophical approaches to the self (Buddhist, Taoist, Indigenous traditions, etc.) and those of the Western world?

Deadline for Submissions: December 29, 2017

Papers should be presentable in 20 mins, typically 2000- 2750 words. Please submit your paper, prepared to be anonymized for blind review, to Michelle Charette at [email protected] In a second attachment please prepare a cover page with your name, university, contact information, title of paper, word count (excluding works cited and notes) and 150-200 word abstract. 

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