The 20th conference “Toward a science of consciousness”. Tuscon, Arizona

15 June, 2018

The conference “Toward a science of consciousness” is traditionally held in Tucson. It is in the southwestern USA, in Arizona. This is the biggest and the most prominent conference on consciousness studies in the world.

When it was held for the first time in 1994 it immediately became historical. Right there David Chalmers proposed a famous distinction among the problems of consciousness. He divided them into easy problems of consciousness and the hard problem of consciousness.

This year is 20th anniversary of that conference. That is why we’ve decided to take part in that very significant event. Among people who have attended the conference this time I could mention such prominent philosophers and scientists as Daniel Dennett, David Chalmers, Donald Hoffman, John Searle, Christof Koch, Giulio Tononi, Roger Penrose, Bernard Baars, Susan Blackmore, and Stuart Hameroff.

The conference was held during the week of May 21st to 27th. There were a lot of interesting events. Most of them were purely scientific, such as plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, and workshops, but some were less formal—for example, the poster sessions and of course a poetry slam with zombie blues and “The End of Consciousness” party. We’d like to say many thanks to people who organized the conference and created such an amazing atmosphere!
What we have discovered is that many people at the conference take the concept of panpsychism very seriously. The ideas which were presented by Chalmers, Hameroff, Hoffman, Koch, and Tononi are panpsychistic or very close to panpsychism. So maybe this is the new direction in discussions of consciousness and the last real alternative to be argued against physicalism. Or maybe it is the last enemy which physicalism has to defeat. Who knows?

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October 1972