NEH Summer Institute on Consciousness and Intentionality: Program and Readings

Listed below are the program and readings (updated post-institute) for the NEH Summer Institute on Consciousness and Intentionality, held in Santa Cruz from June 24 through August 2.


In a typical week, there will be morning sessions Monday-Friday, and afternoon sessions Monday-Wednesday. Morning sessions will run 9:30-10:45, 30 minute break, 11:15 to 12:30. Afternoon sessions will run 2:00-3:15, 30 minute break, 3:45-5:00.

There will be some 2-session papers (presentation up to 60 minutes, 150 minute total) and some 1-session papers (presentation up to 30 minutes, 75 minutes total). Of these, some sessions will be designated "read paper in advance" sessions, at which the presenter will summarize the main ideas for 10 minutes or so, and then things will go straight to discussion. Length and format ("1", "2", "advance") are indicated in the program, below. The directors will give one 1-session presentation each week. Friday mornings will be devoted to general discussion.

General background reading

Background reading lists for specific weeks/topics/papers are listed in the program below. For general background, participants should be familiar with most of the papers in Block et al (eds) The Nature of Consciousness, (esp. sections IV, VII-X) and those in Chalmers (ed) Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings (esp. parts II and III). Papers by institute staff in these books will be particularly relevant.

Excellent general introductions to some core themes of the institute are given in Horgan and Tienson's The intentionality of phenomenology and the phenomenology of intentionality and Siewert's Consciousness and intentionality.

It would also be helpful to be familiar with Chalmers' The Conscious Mind (and/or the more recent papers Consciousness and its Place in Nature, The Components of Content, and The Content and Epistemology of Phenomenal Belief), and other relevant books by institute staff, many of which are listed below.


Background Reading:

Lycan, Consciousness and Experience (esp. Chapter 4 & 6)

Shoemaker, Introspection and phenomenal character

Tye, Ten Problems of Consciousness (esp Chapters 4 & 5); Consciousness, Color, and Content (esp. Chapters 4 & 5)


Monday 6/24

9:30 William Lycan, The representational theory of qualia & The case for phenomenal externalism [2]

2:00 Sydney Shoemaker, Content, color, and character I: Against standard representationalism [1; advance]

3:45 Michael Tye, The unity of experience at a time [1; advance]

5:00 Reception at Cowell Provost's House

Tuesday 6/25

9:30 Sydney Shoemaker, Content, color, and character II: A better sort of representationalism (plus Introspection and phenomenal character) [2; advance]

2:00 Alex Byrne, Shoemaker on phenomenal character [1]

3:45 William Lycan, Perspectival representation and the knowledge argument [1; advance]

Wednesday 6/26

9:30 Michael Tye, The unity of experience across time [2]

2:00 Transparency symposium:

Amy Kind, What's so transparent about transparency? [1]

Brief presentations by Daniel Stoljar, Brad Thompson

Thursday 6/27:

9:30 Daniel Stoljar, Consequences of intentionalism [1]

10:45 Directors' presentation: Varieties of representationalism

Friday 6/28:

9:30 General discussion.

5:00 Happy Hour

Saturday 6/29: Willey House party, 7:30pm.


Background Reading:

Dretske, Naturalizing the Mind; "The Mind's Awareness of Itself" (Philosophical Studies 1999); "Conscious Experience" (Mind 1993)

Peacocke, A Study of Concepts (Chapter 3); "Externalist Explanation" (Aristotelian Society 1993)

Burge, Individualism and psychology (Philosophical Review 1986)

Chalmers, The components of content

McDowell, Mind and World (Chapter 3 and Afterword 2; also, McDowell-Peacocke exchange in PPR, June 1998)


Monday 7/1

9:30 Fred Dretske, Experience as representation [1]

10:45 Christopher Peacocke, Does perception have a nonconceptual content [1; advance]

2:00 Cara Spencer, Phenomenal states and the communication of indexical thought

3:45 York Gunther, A theory of emotional content [1; advance]

5:30 Happy Hour

Tuesday 7/2

9:30 Fred Dretske, How do you know you are not a zombie [2; advance]

2:00 Murat Aydede, Phenomenal concepts and introspection: An information-theoretic approach [1; advance]

3:45 Aaron Zimmerman, Infallible introspection [1; advance]

Wednesday 7/3

9:30 Christopher Peacocke, Explaining perceptual entitlement [2; advance]

2:00 Susanna Siegel, Misperception [1; advance]

3:45 Directors' presentation: The Fregean content of perception

Thursday 7/4:

9:30 General Discussion

Friday 7/5

9:30 Optional session: Christopher Peacocke, Joint attention

2:00 Beach party


Background Reading:

Loar, Phenomenal intentionality as the basis for mental content

Strawson, Mental Reality (Chapters 1 & 7)

Siewert, The Significance of Consciousness (Chapters 7 & 8)


Monday 7/8:

9:30 Terry Horgan, The intentionality of phenomenology and the phenomenology of intentionality [1; advance]

10:45 Brian Loar, Transparent experience and the availability of qualia (plus Phenomenal intentionality) [1; advance]

2:00 Galen Strawson, Consciousness, intentionality, and terminology[2]

5:30 Happy Hour

Tuesday 7/9:

9:30 Charles Siewert, Phenomenal thought [1]

10:45 Bill Robinson, Phenomenal consciousness and intentionality: Vive la difference! [1]

2:00 Optional session: Brie Gertler, The narrow mind

Wednesday 7/10:

9:30 Brian Loar, Intentional qualia, concepts, and mental content [2]

2:00 Nick Georgalis, First-person intentionality [1; advance]

3:45 Galen Strawson, What is the relation between an experience, the subject of the experience, and the content of the experience? [1; advance]

Thursday 7/11

9:30 David Pitt, Intentional phenomenology [1] (background: What is it like to think that P?)

10:45 Sean Kelly, Phenomenology and the philosophy of mind

Friday 7/12:

9:30 General Discussion

4:00 Giant Dipper excursion

6:30 Happy Hour

Saturday 7/13:Willey House party, 8pm


Background Reading:

Block, Concepts of consciousness (abridged from BBS, 1995); Paradox and cross-purposes in recent work on consciousness

Chalmers, The content and epistemology of phenomenal belief

Kanwisher, Neural events and perceptual awareness

Nida-Rumelin, On belief about experiences (PPR, 1998).

White, Why the property dualism argument won't go away


Monday 7/15

9:30 Frank Jackson, Mind as illusion [2; advance]

2:00 Ned Block, Phenomenal concepts and Max Black's objection (part 1) [advance]

3:45 Ned Block, What are experiments about consciousness really about? [1]

5:30 Happy Hour

Tuesday 7/16

David Chalmers, The content and epistemology of phenomenal belief [1; advance]

John Hawthorne,Dancing qualia and direct reference [1]

Martine Nida-Rumelin, Phenomenal concepts and phenomenal properties: Another argument for property dualism [2] (read handout in advance)

Wednesday 7/17

9:30 Joe Levine, New work for a theory of acquaintance [2]

2:00 Frank Jackson, Some dissonant remarks on content, representation and feel [1]

3:45 Ned Block, Phenomenal concepts and Max Black's objection (part 2) [advance]

Thursday 7/18

9:30 Kati Balog, Phenomenal concepts [1] (background: Conceivability, possibility, and the mind-body problem)

10:45 Janet Levin, What is a phenomenal concept? [1]

Friday 7/19:

9:30 General Discussion

5:00 Happy Hour

Saturday 7/20: Party at Michelle's, 8pm

Sunday 7/21: Trip to Big Sur


Background Reading:

Brandom, Knowledge and the social articulation of the space of reasons (PPR, 1995)

McDowell, Knowledge and the internal (PPR 1995); Knowledge and the internal revisited (PPR 2002)

Searle, The Rediscovery of the Mind.

Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind (and Brandom's study guide) (Harvard, 1997).


Monday 7/22

9:30 Robert Brandom, No experience necessary [2; advance]

2:00 John Searle, Consciousness [1; advance]

3:45 David Woodruff Smith, Three facets of consciousness [1] (background: Husserl's theory of intentionality)

5:30 Happy Hour

Tuesday 7/23

9:30 John Searle, Explaining cognition [2; advance]

2:00 Steven Horst, Goldilocks searches for a conceptual semantics [1]

3:45 Gary Heit, Consciousness and free will: A clinician's perspective

5:15 Reception for Gary Heit

Wednesday 7/24

9:30 Robert Brandom, Overcoming a duality of concepts and causes: A unifying thread in Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind [1; advance]

10:45 Paula Droege, Second sense: A theory of sensory consciousness [1; advance]

2:00 Optional session: Cheryl Chen, Why perception matters: The case of the global clairvoyant

8:00 Party at Julie Tannenbaum's

Thursday 7/25

9:30 Rebecca Copenhaver, Thomas Reid's non-naive direct realism [1]

10:45 Amy Schmitter, Descartes, representation and the intelligibility of sense-perception [1]

2:00 Optional session: Amie Thomasson, Introspection and self-knowledge

Friday 7/26

9:30 General discussion

5:00 Happy Hour

Saturday 7/27: Beach party (4pm), party at Nick's (8:30pm)

Sunday 7/28: Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare Santa Cruz), 2pm.


Background Reading:

Anscombe, The intentionality of sensation (in Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Mind)

Cohen et al, Functional relevance of cross-modal plasticity in blind humans, Nature, 389:180-83.

Hurley, Consciousness in Action (chapter 10). [Simplified version in "Perception and action: Alternative views", Synthese 129:3-40, 2001.]

McGinn, Logical Properties (chapter on "Existence").

Merzenich, Seeing in the sound zone, Nature 404:820-21, 2000.

O'Regan, J. K. and Noe, A. (2001) A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness, and response to commentators. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24(5).


Monday 7/29

9:30 Susan Hurley, Neural plasticity and consciousness [2]

2:00 Colin McGinn, Consciousness, atomism, and the ancient Greeks [1; advance]

3:45 Leopold Stubenberg, Consciousness and space [1]

5:30 Happy Hour

Tuesday 7/30

9:30 Colin McGinn, Intentionality and intentional objects [2]

2:00 Leora Weitzman, Content, consciousness and anti-skepticism [1]

3:45 Speed philosophy: Debbie Tollefsen (on social cognition), Michelle Montague (on non-propositional attitudes), Tom Polger (on functionalism and realization)

Wednesday 7/31

9:30 Susan Hurley, Explanatory gaps: A dynamic sensorimotor view vs. neural supervenience [1]

10:45 Casey O'Callaghan, Audible qualities: The pitch report [1] (Background: Sounds)

2:00 Hubert Dreyfus, Direct perception and action in the Matrix

7:00 Party at Alva Noe's

Thursday 8/1

9:30 General Discussion for Week 6

2:30 Trip to the Mystery Spot

Friday 8/2

9:30 General Discussion for the Institute (including poll results and award presentations)

7:30 Farewell party at Willey House

Supplementary reading

Fred Dretske, Knowing what you think vs. knowing that you think it

Nicholas Georgalis, The Primacy of the Subjective

Brie Gertler, Externalism and privileged access: A new approach

York Gunther, Emotion and force

Steven Horst, Mind and the World of Nature; New semantics, a priori necessity and philosophy of mind; Cognitive pluralism

Sean Kelly, Demonstrative concepts and experience

Amy Kind, Qualia realism

William Lycan, Dretske's ways of introspecting

Christopher Peacocke, Joint attention: Its nature, reflexivity and relation to common knowledge

Thomas Polger, Natural Minds

Daniel Stoljar, The argument from diaphanousness

Galen Strawson, Real materialism; Mental Reality chapter 6 (esp. 6.6)