Spontaneity in action: dreams, mind wandering, and mental autonomy
Jennifer Windt (Monash University)

September 10, 2019, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
PHI research group, Deakin University

C2.05 Burwood Campus. ic2.108 Waurn Ponds. *VMP 522 39354
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood 3125

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


Deakin University

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We spend up to 50% of our waking lives mind wandering, or lost in spontaneous thoughts and daydreams. The majority of sleep mentation is also spontaneous, and dreams have been proposed to be an intensified form of waking mind wandering. 

I propose a taxonomy for describing spontaneous processes across the sleep-wake cycle and analysing their relation to attention, cognitive agency, and mental autonomy. I argue that contrary to the predominant view, spontaneous thought is not necessarily opposed to cognitive agency. They often exist alongside each other and spontaneous processes can even be described as the root of mental autonomy. 


Dr Jennifer Windt is Senior Research Fellow at Monash University.

Her research focuses on philosophy of mind and philosophy of cognitive science. She's particularly interested in conscious experience during sleep, including dreaming, and its relationship to wake states such as mind wandering, imagination, hallucination, and full-body illusions. She also examines methodological and epistemological questions about the relationship between dreams and dream reports, and between first-person reports and third-person data more generally.

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