Upcoming dialogue with Owen Flanagan, at Northwestern University

Understanding Consciousness: Is Physicalism Enough?

Monday March 4, 2013, at 4pm.

My position statement:

The scientific method gives us no direct and independent access to consciousness itself–no direct access, because third-person observations are always of the behavioral and physiological expressions of consciousness, not consciousness itself; and no independent access because the scientific method itself presupposes consciousness, so we must unavoidably use consciousness to study consciousness. Full recognition of this situation demands that the neuroscience of consciousness include an ineliminable phenomenological component. Some of the phenomenological resources for such a “neurophenomenology” of consciousness can be found in Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist contemplative methods of training the mind.

New expanded edition of The Embodied Mind

MIT Press will publish a new, expanded edition of The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience, in 2014. There will be two new introductions, one by me and one by Eleanor Rosch. There will also be a new foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn (author of Full Catastrophe Living and creator of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program) and Mark Williams of the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre.