Info: this online course is available in English & Portuguese, open to the general public.
Nota: este curso online será dado em inglês & português (ver CURSO 9).
Nota: este curso online será dado em inglês & português (ver CURSO 9).
COURSE NR. 9 - "THE CONSCIOUS MIND"
Description: Imagine that you are, right now, on one of the most amazing beaches on Earth: for example, the incredible Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Imagine further that you are drinking a tasty caipirinha (the famous Brazilian drink), enjoying the sunny day, and the great view of the Pão de Açúcar Mountain. Although that experience would be magical enough for most of us (because we don't live in Rio de Janeiro – lucky you if you do! ), there is something even more magical going on at that moment: the fact that you are tasting a specific flavor, experiencing joy and happiness, and that all of this is happening to you from a very specific point of view: YOUR point of view! Why is this so magical? Well, in one sentence, the magical part of this story is that nobody can really explain how those conscious experiences happen in your mind. This is one of the biggest mysteries of the universe: how a bunch of non-conscious neurons can give rise to a unified sense of subjective experience, to a Conscious Mind! Because this is such a big mystery, many researchers from various disciplines are trying to apply all sorts of tools and methodological strategies in order to create a clear picture of how this mind of yours is created by your brain, your body, and its connection with the environment (the world!).
The goal of this Online Course 9 is to discuss with the general public (and academics interested in the subject) three relevant topics associated with the philosophical and scientific understanding of the Conscious Mind. The course in English will be given in several sessions.
The First Session will discuss the Conscious Mind from an evolutionary perspective. Having in consideration that consciousness is a biological phenomenon, we will study how consciousness can be seen as an emergy property that evolved for its social function (this session will have the participation of the Emeritus Professor Nicholas Humphrey).
The Second Session will discuss how we can study the Conscious Mind from more unconventional methodologies such as out-of-body experiences, the use of psychadelics/drugs, and the nature of lucid dreams. The goal is to understand how these phenomena can shed light into the nature of the Couscious Mind (this session will have the participation of Professor Susan Blackmore).
The Third Session will discuss how we can investigate the Conscious Mind from a scientific approach by considering the endogenous nature of consciousness and some physical and physiological assumptions about the brain. The goal is to understand how the concepts of "free enery principle" and "active inference" are relevant to understand how an organism feels like to be an organism and how those feelings are associated with consciousness (this session will have the participation of Professor Karl J. Friston).
Main Professor: Steven S. Gouveia holds a PhD in Neurophilosophy from the University of Minho (Portugal) and was a visiting researcher at the Mind, Brain Imaging and Neuroethics Unit of the Royal Institute of Mental Health, University of Ottawa (Canada), where he was a PostDoc Research Fellow (2021-2022). He is the author and editor of 13 academic books, with the collaboration of several philosophers of mind such as Daniel Dennett, Thomas Metzinger, Anil Seth, Karl Friston, Georg Northoff, Jesse Prinz, among others. He co-edited the book "Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Perspectives" (2017), "Perception, Cognition and Aesthetics" (2019) & "The Philosophy an Science of Predictive Processing" (2020). As an author, is published is third authored book titled "Philosophy and Neuroscience: a Methodological Anaylsis" (2022) with Palgrave Macmilliam (Springer Nature). He has lectured around the world on topics related to Neurophilosophy, Brain and Mind (e.g. Italy, Malta, Switzerland, Cyprus, South Korea, Brazil, etc). More information: www.stevensgouveia.weebly.com
- Nicholas Humphrey is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the London School of Economics, a Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the New College of the Humanities and a Senior Member of the Darwin College, Cambridge. Professor Humphrey is a theoretical psychologist, internationally known for his work on the evolution of human intelligence and consciousness. His interests are wide ranging: He studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey in Rwanda; was the first to demonstrate the existence of "blindsight" after brain damage in monkeys; proposed the now celebrated theory of the "social function of intellect"; and is the only scientist ever to edit the literary journal Granta. He his a prolefic author having published several books: Consciousness Regained (1983), The Inner Eye (2003), Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness (2009), A History of the Mind (2012), The Mind Made Flesh (2012), and Soul Dust: the Magic of Consciousness (2012). He just published his new book titled Sentience: The Invention of Consciousness (2023). He has been the recipient of several honors, including the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, the Pufendorf Medal, and the International Mind and Brain Prize. More info: here.
- Susan Blackmore is a freelance writer, lecturer, broadcaster, and Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth, UK. She has a degree in Psychology and Physiology from Oxford University (1973) an MSc and a PhD from the University of Surrey (1980). Her research interests include memes, evolutionary theory, consciousness, and meditation. Professor Blackmore writes for several magazines and newspapers, blogs for Psychology Today, and is a frequent contributor and presenter on Radio and Television. She is author of over fifteen books, sixty academic articles, about eighty book contributions. Some of her books include Dying to Live: Near Death Experiences (1993), The Meme Machine (1999), Conversations on Consciousness (2005), Zen and the Art of Consciousness (2011), Seeing Myself: What Out-of-body Experiences Tell Us About Life and Consciousness: An Introduction (2018). Her work has been translated into more than 20 other languages. She is a TED lecturer, a member of the Edge Community, and was chosen as one of the 100 Global Minds 2015. More info: here.
- Karl J. Friston is a Theoretical Neuroscientist and authority on brain imaging. He invented statistical parametric mapping (SPM), voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and dynamic causal modelling (DCM). Mathematical contributions include variational Laplacian procedures and generalized filtering for hierarchical Bayesian model inversion. His main contribution to theoretical neurobiology is a free-energy principle for action and perception (active inference). Friston received the first Young Investigators Award in Human Brain Mapping (1996) and was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (1999). In 2003 he was awarded the Minerva Golden Brain Award and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006 and received a Medal College de France (2008) and the Weldon Memorial prize (2013) for contributions to mathematical biology. He was the 2016 recipient of the Charles Branch Award for unparalleled breakthroughs in Brain Research and the Glass Brain Award - a lifetime achievement award in the field of human brain mapping. He holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Zurich and Radboud University. He published several books, such as Human Brain Function (1997), Statistical Parametric Mapping: The Analysis of Functional Brain Images (2006), Principles of Brain Dynamics: Global State Interactions (2012) and more recently Active Inference: The Free Energy Principle in Mind, Brain, and Behavior (2022). More info: here.
- Session 1: The Evolution of the Conscious Mind (with Nicholas Humphrey)
- Session 2: The Unconventional Conscious Mind (with Susan Blackmore)
- Session 3: The Physics and Physiology of the Conscious Mind (with Karl J. Friston)
When (Lisbon Time Zone):
- Session 1: 19 April 2023 | 5pm-7pm (first part w/ Steven S. Gouveia; second part w/ Q&A Nicholas Humphrey)
- Session 2: 24 April 2023 | 4pm-6pm (first part w/ Steven S. Gouveia; second part w/ Q&A Susan Blackmore)
- Session 3: 26 April 2023 | 5pm-7pm (first part w/ Steven S. Gouveia; second part w/ Q&A Karl J. Friston)
Send First and Last Name to stevensequeira92 at gmail.com, indicating your address and phone contact and option chosen. The payment details will be sent after confirmation of receipt of the registration. The Course is open to anyone!
Online course via Zoom.
© Steven S. Gouveia