CFP: Postgraduate Conference on Extremes of Mind Wandering

Submission deadline: April 23, 2021

Conference date(s):
June 23, 2021 - June 25, 2021

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Conference Venue:

University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Topic areas


Traditionally, psychological research has understood mind-wandering as task-unrelated thought (cf. Smallwood & Schooler, 2015). However, this standard conception does not seem to fit with the dynamics of the subjective experience of mind-wandering (Irving and Thompson, 2018). New conceptions on mind wandering range from explaining this phenomenon as thoughts that lack veto control (Metzinger, 2013; 2018) to a sort of disunified thinking (Carruthers, 2015; Dorsch, 2015) or unguided thinking (Irving, 2016; Irving and Thompson, 2018). The investigation of mind-wandering is a relatively young field of study. While this phenomenon has been the target of research of psychological research for many years, it remains rarely investigated in the realm of philosophy of mind and cognitive science. In recent years, several articles and book collections on the topic of mind-wandering have arisen, showing how this phenomenon not only requires more empirical work but also needs further theoretical and conceptual investigation (see Christoff and Fox, 2018).

This conference aims at unifying the research of mind-wandering and spontaneous thought in contemporary philosophy by contemplating not only how we can make better sense of this phenomenon but, also, how investigations on mind-wandering can shed light on other related topics. As such, the conference will focus on three general subtopics: (1) the nature of consciousness, (2) mind wandering and other imaginative experiences, and (3) mind-wandering in psychopathology. Given these three main subtopics, we envisage a wide range of contributions, including, but not limited to, the following issues:

• The varieties of mind wandering • The phenomenology of daydreaming • The self in daydreams • Lost in thought: temporality and daydreaming • Mental time travel • Rumination and emotion • Imagination and narrative • 4E perspectives on mind wandering, daydreaming and imagination • Mind wandering and altered states of consciousness • Mind-blanking and meditative states

The ‘Extremes of Mind Wandering’ conference, hosted by the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences in the University of Edinburgh will take place on June 24-25th 2021 online and will consist of two keynote talks by Prof. Amy Kind (Claremont McKenna College) and Dr Zachary Irving (University of Virginia) as well as contributions from postgraduate researchers selected via a blind review of abstracts.

Submission Guidelines

We invite submissions of long abstracts of maximum 500 words on EasyChair prepared for blind review, on one of the three general sub-topics of the conference ((1) the nature of consciousness, (2) mind wandering and other imaginative experiences or (3) mind-wandering in psychopathology) for giving a 40-minute talk presentation at the conference

The deadline for submissions is April 23th and notifications of acceptance will be sent out by May 10th.

The conference aims at complying with the BPA/SWiP Good Practice Scheme and therefore, we encourage participation particularly for those from underrepresented groups in Academia. Please, include with your submission a separate short cover with some information about yourself and your research. If you are a member of a group that is underrepresented in professional philosophy and wish to identify yourself as such, please include this information on your cover sheet. If you have any questions regarding accessibility, please do get in touch.

Submissions are restricted to postgraduate students (Mphil, Msc, Mlitt and PhD) and Early-career researchers (Post-docs, Research Fellows and Lecturers who have obtained their PhD within their last 2 years). Acceptances will only be made on basis of originality, quality and adequacy of the abstracts with the topic of the workshop.

Portal for submissions: 


This conference is organised by Jodie Russell (University of Edinburgh) and Adriana Alcaraz-Sanchez (University of Glasgow).

For further questions please contact Jodie Russell ([email protected])

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