Self-Representationalism, Phenomenology, and the Hard Problem. Interview with Kenneth Williford.

Interviews,Events | 21 Mar 2015

We are glad to present you the interview with Kenneth Williford – an associate professor of the University of Texas at Arlington, and a friend of our Center. He is the editor of the collection of essays “Self-Representational Approaches to Consciousness” (2006). Professor Williford’s own views are close to self-representational approaches, and they are discussed in the interview.
Below you will find the video and a detailed commentary on it by Kenneth Wiliford

Self-Representationalism, Phenomenology, and the Hard Problem:
Comments on an Interview

In the summer of 2014 I was in Moscow visiting my wife’s family. The April before I had met Artem Besedin, Anton Kuznetsov, and Dimitriy Volkov at the 2014 “Toward a Science of Consciousness” conference in Tucson, Arizona. Artem and Anton proposed interviewing me during my visit to Russia. I would like to thank them for their hospitality and interest. I would also like to thank Dimitriy Volkov for making the Moscow Center for Consciousness Studies a reality. The Center has supported some truly interesting and valuable endeavors and exchanges and has very generously made them freely available to the public. I would also like to thank Dean Vladimir Mironov and Deputy Dean Anna Kostikova, both in the philosophy faculty of Moscow State University, for their hospitality and generous intellectual interest and good will. Огpомное спасибо!
What follows is a sort of re-presentation of my answers to Artem’s questions and some references to relevant literature including some papers of mine where I develop the ideas expressed (sometimes rather laboriously, I must admit) in my responses.


Is Free will a miracle or an illusion?

Events | 21 Mar 2015

March 19th we arrange a public lecture “Is Free will a miracle or an illusion?” The lecture was held by Artem Besedin and Anton Kuznetsov in a club “Philosophy on the air” of State Library for Youth. A next lcture there will be “The Consciousness problems. Science and Philosophy”. Below you will find some photos


Poll Russian philosophical community

Events | 5 Mar 2015

The MCCS has launched the Survey of the Russian Philosophical Community. If you want to take part in the survey, please use this link (in Russian):

Poll Russian philosophical community

The latest trends in analytical philosophy. The roundtable discussion at Philosophy department of MSU

Events | 3 Mar 2015

February 26 at the Philosophy department of Moscow State University hosted a roundtable discussion “Latest Trends analytic philosophy”, which was attended by our colleagues from the Center of phenomenology and philosophy of mind at SPSU. The event went on for about five hours. It’s hard to hide the pleasure derived from the roundtable! Discussion was extremely informative and interesting.
Fortunately, we were able to make records of reports of this wonderful event. Below you will find their titles and references to the records.
S.Levin (HSE in St. Petersburg) “Why do we not know what “Chinese nation” feels?”
Kuznetsov (MSU) “Mental causation: the anomalous problem”
M.Sekatskaya (SPSU) “Moral attitude: responsibility without metaphysical freedom”
D.Volkov (MSU) “What does the manipulation argument of Pereboom prove?”
A.Besedin (MSU) “What is the manipulation and whether determinism manipulate us?”
A.Ponomarev (SPSU) “The process of perception in the concept representationalism”


Could consciousness be mistaken? The second show on onlinetv

Interviews,Events | 13 Feb 2015

We are glad to introduce the second recording of a program “There is such a thing” on the channel “the First Interactive TV” dedicated to the problems of consciousness, which was attended by Co-Director of our Center Dmitry Volkov.
Could consciousness be mistaken?
“How is our consciousness acting? What are the ways of evolution of consciousness? Could consciousness be mistaken? All these questions are considered by Ph.D., co-director of the Moscow Center for Consciousness Studies at the Philosophy Department of Moscow State University Dmitry Volkov”.
Could consciousness be mistaken?

“The Hard problem”. A play on consciousness by Tom Stoppard

Events | 30 Jan 2015

Did you know that on January 28 there was a premiere of a play dedicated to the Hard problem of consciousness? And it is not in the back of the theater life, but in the heart of England, in London, at the National Theatre and the author has long been famous playwright Tom Stoppard.

“Hilary, a young psychology researcher at a brain-science institute, is nursing a private sorrow and a troubling question at work, where psychology and biology meet. If there is nothing but matter, what is consciousness?

This is ‘the hard problem’ which puts Hilary at odds with her colleagues who include her first mentor Spike, her boss Leo and the billionaire founder of the institute, Jerry.

Is the day coming when the computer and the fMRI scanner will answer all the questions psychology can ask?

Meanwhile Hilary needs a miracle, and she is prepared to pray for one”. Said on the oficial site of National Theater

On the piece managed to visit Dmitry Volkov, co-director of the Center for Consciousness Studies. Here are some photos taken by him.


A way forward to solve the hard problem of consciousness

Events | 30 Jan 2015

In continuation of the published article about consciousness in the Guardian published a response of Philip Goff, a member of our Greenland conference “A way forward to solve the hard problem of consciousness”, where he describes the possible prospect of solving the mystery of consciousness.
A way forward to solve the hard problem of consciousness


How to solve the mind-body problem? Lecture of John Searle

Events | 23 Jan 2015

We are glad to present the lecture “How to solve the mind-body problem?” read by John Searle at the Philosophy department of Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2011 during his visit to Moscow organized by our Center.
The English version is authorized by John Searle

Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness?

Events | 21 Jan 2015

We are glad to announce that the Guardian has published an article on consciousness “Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness?”. It is mostly devoted to David Chalmers and the Hard problem of consciousness but also it is mentioned our conference in Greenland.
Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness?


Interview with Jesse Prinz in Moscow.

Interviews,Events | 4 Dec 2014

Last week from 25 to 30 November, Jesse Prinz, a prominent philosopher and cognitivist, a professor at New York University and a good friend of the Center, was a guest of Philosophy Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Prinz is known widely outside of the philosophy of mind, he is interested in experimental philosophy, aesthetics, epistemology, social philosophy, philosophy of psychology.

His philosophical position can be described as radical empiricism, which he follows in all its areas of interest. Therefore, his theory of consciousness based on the understanding of specific visual information processing in the extrastriate cortex – the Attended Intermediate Level Realization Theory of Consciousness. Prinz considers himself a follower of Hume, and even tries to go further of his philosophy. He also is known for his unusual appearance, Prinz has a coloured hair and lots of jewelry on their hands. For the most part this is due to youth of philosopher, which took place side by side next to the prominent American artists (for example, his mother worked with Andy Warhol), and to his antiglobal views.
In Moscow, he gave a lecture, held seminars on experimental philosophy and participated in an interview with our center, which was taken by Vadim Vasilyev, Dmitry Volkov and Anna Kostikova. Interview turned out very vivid and memorable.