Russellian Monism: Time for the Details

Date: 
Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 9:00am to Sunday, August 13, 2017 - 7:00pm

Russellian monism is an exciting new theory of consciousness, which promises to avoid both the problems of dualism and the problems of physicalism. Russellian Monism: Time for the Details will explore and evaluate various forms of Russellian monism.

There will be seven themed sessions, each consisting either of short talks or responses to a pre-circulated paper followed by discussion. Rather than speakers giving long defences of their own views, the focus will be on getting ideas out for discussion.

Day 1: Varieties of Russellian monism

8:30-9:00: What is Russellian monism?
Sam Coleman
(University of Hertfordshire) and Philip Goff (Central European University)

9:00-10:45: Idealism and Russellian monism
David Chalmers
(New York University) and Susan Schneider (University of Connecticut)
Format: 2x30 min talks, followed by discussion

10:45-11:00: Coffee break

11:00-1:00: Panpsychism versus Panprotopsychism
Jakub Mihalik
(Charles University, Prague), Sam Coleman (University of Hertfordshire), Barbara Montero (City University New York)
Format: 2x30 min responses to Mihalik's pre-circulated paper, 10 min counter-response from Mihalik, followed by discussion

1:00-2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:30 Emergence versus Reductionism
Adam Pautz
(Brown University) and Luke Roelofs (Australian National University)
Format: 30min response to Pautz's pre-circulated paper, 10 min counter-response from Pautz followed by discussion

3:30-3:45 Coffee break

3:45-5:30 Cosmopsychism
Philip Goff (
Central European University) and Yujin Nagasawa (University of Birmingham)
Format: 2x30 min talks, followed by discussion

Day 2: Problems and Challenges

10:00-11:45 The Combination Problem
David Bourget
(Western University) and Angela Mendelovici (Western University)
Format: 2x30 min talks, followed by discussion

11:45-12:00 Coffee break

12:00-1:35 Mental Causation and Causal Exclusion Problem
Mørch, Hedda Hassel
(New York University, University of Oslo), Torin Alter (University of Alabama), Robert Howell (SMU)
Format: 30 min response to pre-circulated papers by Alter and Mørch, 2x10 min counter-responses from Alter and Mørch, followed by discussion

1:35-2:30 Lunch

2:30-4:15: The Structural Mismatch Problem
Tom McClelland (University of Warwick), Luke Roelof
(Australian National University)
Format: 2x30 talks, followed by discussion

4:15-4:30 Coffee break

4:30-6:00 Final Discussion
David Chalmers
(New York University)
Summing up followed by discussion


More information and introductory sources:

  • Philip Goff explaining the essence of Russellian monism here.
  • Simple intro to the basic idea of Russellian monism: Goff, P. (2016) 'Bertrand Russell's solution to the problem of consciousness': from Leach & Tartaglia (Eds.) Consciousness and the Great Philosophers, Routledge. Read it here.
  • A fuller account of the advantages of Russellian monism: Chalmers, D. (2015) 'Panpsychism and panprotopsychism,' from Alter & Nagasawa (Eds.) Consciousness in the Physical World, Oxford University Press. (See the download option below.)
  • Adam Pautz: A Dilemma for Russellian Monists About Consciousness - presentation on Youtube
  • Visit the Facebook page of the conference here.

The conference is  funded with a grant from the Templeton funded project 'New Directions in the Philosophy of Mind.

Participation is free of charge, but registration is needed at: russellianmonism@ceu.edu