Studying Consciousness & Free Will: A Neurophilosophical Approach
Caltech Consciousness & Reality Colloquium Series
Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University
For centuries, questions about the nature of consciousness or the existence of free will were considered outside the realm of scientific investigation. Yet in recent decades, studies in neuroscience and cognitive science have taken a stab at these questions, giving rise to new empirical findings and novel theories. In this talk, I will describe three attempts to translate these long-lasting philosophical questions into empirically testable ones, regarding the role of consciousness in voluntary action, the relations between conscious experience and neural activity, and the possible dissociation between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness. I will further highlight some of the challenges entailed in such works, and suggest that our understanding of these highly complex and intricate phenomena can substantially benefit from a multidisciplinary dialogue, tying together experimentalists and philosophers.
ABOUT THE EVENT
This lecture will be accessible to an interdisciplinary audience, and Caltech members from all divisions are welcome to join. Select questions from the Q&A window will be answered after the lecture.
ABOUT THE SERIES
The Consciousness & Reality colloquium series promotes interdisciplinary investigations on mind, cognition, consciousness, and the nature of reality. The colloquia will be held once a month. The next colloquium will be delivered by Anil Seth (Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex) on Mar 22.