Preparation for the Greenland conference

Events | 10 Apr 2014

As part of the preparation for the Greenland conference “The problem of free will in analytic philosophy”, the Moscow Center of Consciousness Studies has organized a series of training workshops for the students of the Philosophy Faculty of Moscow State University. These students have been chosen to participate in the conference on the basis of a competitive essay contest. The workshops focus on the latest research in the fields of consciousness and free will. We have now posted a video recording of the workshop seminar that was held at the Center on March 28 and led by Professor Robert Howell. The topic was the theory of consciousness presented by Jesse Prinz in his recent book The Conscious Brain.


Free Will and Moral Responsibility Summer School

Events | 18 Mar 2014

The Moscow Center for Consciousness Studies (MCCS) is hosting a summer school devoted to the problem of Free Will on August 11th – 25th 2014. The summer school will be led by the well-known expert Prof. John Martin Fischer of the University of California, Riverside.

Graduate students and recent PhDs are invited to submit applications to participate in this summer school. For two weeks, you will be hosted by MCCS in a beautiful area on the Volga River near Moscow.


“A consciousness and D-consciousness” article by A. Kuznetsov

Books,Events | 17 Mar 2014

Kuznetsov’s article considers Ned Block’s well-known distinction between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness. In contrast to Chalmers’ hard problem of consciousness, phenomenal consciousness, as described by Block, does not present an apparently intractable problem. However, it raises separate issues which are ignored by most reductionist theories. Block thinks we should stop to confuse phenomenal and access consciousness and then the future progress of science will be able to explain what phenomenal consciousness is by studying its function. While emphasizing that access consciousness and phenomenal consciousness are in fact two separate types of consciousness, Block argues for the presence of access consciousness without phenomenal consciousness and for the converse. Kuznetsov accepts access consciousness without phenomenal consciousness, but he rejects the idea that one could have phenomenal consciousness without access consciousness. This idea is contradictory. Therefore he concludes that study of phenomenal consciousness without access consciousness is unlikely to be a promising research strategy.

Discussion on “Consciousness and Things”, a book by V.Vasilyev

Events | 17 Mar 2014

The discussion was held by a group of philosophers, “Contemporary Metaphysics” at the Department of Philosophy, the Higher School of Economics, on March 7th 2014.

Basically, it was based on the author’s concept, of local interactionism proved by the idea of phenomenalistic ontology.

Here are the videos.


Cognitive Studies and the Problem of Mental Causation

Books,Events | 29 Jan 2014

Below is an article by our colleague Anton Kuznetsov on “Cognitive Studies and the Problem of Mental Causation”. Estimating the contribution of cognitive science to clarification of this problem, the author nevertheless believes that it only makes the problem more neutral. The solution seems to be beyond comparison.
Download article (pdf)

Blitz interviews: “Such different philosophers”

Events | 6 Dec 2013

Blitz interviews were taken by the Moscow Center for Consciousness Studies during a musical evening dedicated to the completion of the conference “The Philosophy of Consciousness: Past and Present. Fourth Gryaznovsky’s Reading”. These questions were asked:
1. Introduce yourself and present your main interest in Philosophy.
2. Why are you keen on Philosophy?
3. What has kept your interest in Philosophy?
4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of analytic philosophy of mind?
5. Is there a need of its synthesis with other philosophical approaches and ideas?
The Respondents’ various points of view certainly did the trick. You will see very different philosophers and hear their natural answers.


Fourth Gryaznovsky’s Reading” 2013

Events | 15 Nov 2013

The Philosophy Department of Moscow State University with participation of The Moscow Center for Consciousness Studies organized a conference: “The Philosophy of Consciousness: Past and Present. Fourth Gryaznovsky’s Reading” on Nov. 7th. The conference was attended by well-known experts in this area.
The first part of the conference was devoted to the analytic philosophy of the mind while the second part – to the problem of consciousness in the history of philosophy. The final event of the conference – a round table “The Puzzle of Consciousness in the Empirical and Conceptual Perspective ” was held at the Department of the History of Philosophy.


Creativity Competition Open

Events | 15 Nov 2013

The aim of this creative competition is to select participants for the international conference on “The problem of free will in analytic philosophy”, which is scheduled for June, 2014.
The conference takes place on the shores of Greenland and expects the participation of the leading western philosophers: D. Dennett, D. Chalmers, the Churchlands, the Moscow Centre for Consciousness Studies director, D.B. Volkov and undergraduate/postgraduate students of the Philosophy Department of Moscow State University.
All the participants’ expenses are to be covered by the organizers.


“The Philosophy of Consciousness: Past and Present. Fourth Gryaznovsky’s Reading” Conference

Events | 5 Nov 2013

Two plenary sessions are to be held at the Philosophy Department of MSU on November 7th. A historical and philosophical session will be devoted to the problem of consciousness in the history of classical thought. The second will focus on different definitions of consciousness in the tradition of analytic philosophy.


Vadim Vasilyev “Consciousness and Things”

Books | 23 Oct 2013

“Consciousness and Things”, a new book by Vadim Vasilyev, presents a theory of consciousness labeled as a “local interactionism”. The previous work “The Hard Problem of Consciousness” was a sketch of intended solutions, here they are completely explicated. By developing his own method of phenomenological deductions and connecting it with a traditional analytic method of conceptual analysis, author takes the reader from general premises to final conclusions. He shows how it is possible to combine causal potential of consciousness with a principle of causal closure of the physical. Moreover, separating the mind-body problem into seven sequentially connected issues, Vadim Vasilyev brings us to his own solution to the problem of consciousness. Here we are dealing with a full-weight philosophic treatise: basic definitions deduced from fundamental principles, which, in turn, are derived from suggestions of the nature of consciousness. Author also tries to answer to possible criticisms of every step of his constructions. Undoubtedly, reading the book “Consciousness and Things” will be a great pleasure to those keen on philosophy.