The Brain and its States

Some time ago I was invited to contribute a paper to a forthcoming volume entitled Being in Time: Dynamical Models of Phenomenal Experience. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was invited because of my paper “What is a Brain State?” Looking back at that paper, which I was writing in 2004-2005, I was interested in questions about the Identity Theory and not so much about consciousness per se and I wished I had said something relating the thesis there to various notions of consciousness. So I was happy to take this opportunity to put together a general statement of my current views on this stuff as well as a chance to develop some of my recent views about higher-order theories. Overall I think it is a fairly decent statement of my considered opinion on the home of consciousness in the brain. Any comments or feedback is greatly appreciated!

Southern Fried Spring Phenomenology

Winter is winding down and I am prepping for my Southern Fried Spring Phenomenology tour.

1st stop is the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology March 22-24 in Savannah Georgia, where I will be commenting on Benji Kozuch’s paper (on lesions to the prefrontal lobes and the implications for higher-order theories), as well as giving a talk in an invited symposium “Explaining Consciousness” (with Josh Weisberg and Kenneth Williford); “Phenomenal Consciousness Ain’t in the (Back of the) Head”. I am putting the final touches on the presentation and hope to record a practice run of it sometime this week (look for it on my YouTube channel). This conference should be a lot of fun since it seems like I know everyone on the program! Kudos to Pete Mandik for assembling such a great group of people!

2nd stop back to New York for Funkomenological Overflow at the Local 269 Tuesday April 3rd. This free event in lower Manhattan features the music of the Space Clamps, the return of Quiet Karate Reflex, and the William James Trio…all three of these groups feature me on the drums! We have been rehearsing a lot and each group has a unique sound and set list…where else can you find jazz/funk, 8bit experimental breakbeats, and funk/awesome rock played by philosophers, neuroscientists, and psychologists?

3rd stop is back to the south for the Tenth Biennial Towards a Science of Consciousness conference in Tucson (ok, ok, so that’s a different south, but c’mon!). I will be giving a talk in the Dualism and Modal Arguments concurrent session which will be a ‘all-things-considered’ statement of my 2D argument against Non-Materialism. I haven’t been to Tucson since 2008 so I am really looking forward to it!

Hope to see you on the road!