The Phenomenal Qualities Project

I want to bring your attention to The Phenomenal Qualities Project. With a Whose Who of theorists involved, it promises to offer a wonderful forum for ecumenical discussion:


There are four main objectives.

To investigate a set of fundamental questions concerning phenomenal qualities – such as the colours, sounds and so on, of which we are immediately aware in perceptual experience – and their place in the physical world. The research will focus upon issues connected with the role of phenomenal qualities in perceptual experiences, their relation to cognitive states of mind, their ontological status, and the way they fit in with the best current theories about the fundamental nature of physical things.

To encourage and co-ordinate research focused on the above questions by organising a series of seminars, workshops and an international conference on the nature of phenomenal qualities, and through publication of research material. An interactive website will be set up, facilitating the dissemination and discussion of research on the issues raised.

To stimulate dialogue between theorists of different philosophical persuasions, and with cognitive scientists working on perception and attention, on problems connected with the nature of experience and phenomenal qualities. This project will bring together philosophers and cognitive scientists of international standing from different traditions to advance our understanding of these problems.

To communicate to a wider non-academic audience, through public lectures and the internet, the nature and relevance of this project for existing work in Consciousness Studies, Cognitive Science and Physics.

The Metaphysics of Mind

This past weekend I attended the Timothy Sprigge Memorial Conference (see link to obituary by Jane O’Grady who was in attendence). I met Sprigge in 1997 at the Bradley conference at Harris-Manchester College Oxford, a time when I was very interested in the idealists. Funny how philosophical changes come and go – Sprigge, ever the outsider, is now of interest to current philosophy of mind. Anyway, this conference brought together a very diverse group of theorists in the most congenial of environments and I was able to meet a few of my intellectual heroes.


Leemon McHenry (California State University, Northridge)

Sprigge’s Ontology of Consciousness

Pierfrancesco Basile (University of Bern)

It must be true—but how can it be? Some Remarks on Panpsychism and Mental Composition

Alastair Hannay (University of Oslo)

The Space We Share: Phenomenology and Metaphysics

Jason Brown (New York University Medical Center)

What is a Mental State?

Galen Strawson (University of Reading)

Fundamental Singleness: How to Turn the 2nd Paralogism into a Valid Argument

Jaegwon Kim (Brown University)

Explaining Consciousness: From Emergentism to A Priori Physicalism

William Seager (University of Toronto)

Concessionary Dualism and Physicalism

Seager and Che

Brian P. McLaughlin (Rutgers University)

Consciousness, Identity, and Explanation

Fred Adams (University of Delaware)

Consciousness: Why and Where?


Geoffrey Madell (University of Edinburgh)

Substance Dualism: You Know it Makes Sense

Ken Aizawa (Centenary College of Louisiana)

How Consciousness Can Safely Emerge


ken 2

David Cockburn (University of East Anglia)

Doubts About “Consciousness”

Andy Clark (University of Edinburgh)

Locating the Conscious Mind


Howard Robinson (Central European University, Budapest)

Quality, Thought and Consciousness

Stephen Clark (University of Liverpool)

How to Become Unconscious

Eduard Marbach (University of Bern)

Is there a Metaphysics of Consciousness without a Phenomenology of Consciousness? Some thoughts derived from Husserl’s Philosophical Phenomenology

Brenda Almond (University of Hull)

Religious Consciousness: Revisiting the God of the Philosophers

Julian Kiverstein (University of Edinburgh)

The Metaphysics of Time Consciousness

James Giles (University of Guam)

The Metaphysics of Awareness in Taoist philosophy

Tim Crane (University College London)

Consciousness as Predicated of Human Beings


Barry Dainton (University of Liverpool)

Phenomenal Holism

Peter Simons (Trinity College Dublin)

Consciousness for Four-Dimensionalists