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LINGUIST List 22.1081

Fri Mar 04 2011

Confs: Cog Sci, Ling Theories, Philosophy of Lang, Syntax/India

Editor for this issue: Di Wdzenczny <dilinguistlist.org>


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        1.     Nirmalangshu Mukherji , Character of Mind

Message 1: Character of Mind
Date: 28-Feb-2011
From: Nirmalangshu Mukherji <somanshubol.net.in>
Subject: Character of Mind
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Character of Mind

Date: 18-Mar-2011 - 20-Mar-2011
Location: Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
Contact: Nirmalangshu Mukherji
Contact Email: somanshubol.net.in
Meeting URL: http://www.iias.org/Character_Mind.html

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Linguistic Theories; Philosophy of
Language; Syntax

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Meeting Description:

Only 50 years ago, the study of the mind was christened a 'science'€™:
'cognitive science'€™. What has it revealed, and does a specific concept of
mind, new or old, emerge from it? Have we truly accessed the domain of the
mental, or are we forever targeting only its outer manifestations, that is,
complex human behaviour in socio-cultural contexts? Do we know which
kind of data would be relevant to an actual theory of mind?

We aim to bring together philosophers and scientists to review what has
been achieved, with a view to linking the development of cognitive science
in the 20th century with the earliest efforts that humans have made to
understand their mental life. In effect, we wish to explore the agenda for a
'new'€™ philosophy of mind in light of what has been learnt from cognitive
science.

Some Sub-themes

To achieve some focus on this vast territory, for now we restrict attention
to developments in language theory and the notion of mind that seems to
underlie there. We can then ask how much of the classical concerns in the
domain of the mental in fact coherently fits the grammatical conception of
mind. This issue has at least four major parts.

First, are we in a position to formulate the grammatical conception of mind,
say as a specific computational/generative system? How do the current
paradigms in (analytical) philosophy of mind, such as functionalism, fare
with respect to this conception? We would also want to know how this
conception relates to those underlying classical conceptions of
language/grammar in the Paninian, Aristotelian and Cartesian traditions.

Second, which other cognitive systemsâ€'classically falling under the domain
of the mentalâ€'are likely to be covered by the conception of mind emanating
from the study of language? Since studies on language and vision are the
more advanced areas in cognitive science, we might ask: does the
preceding conception of mind extend to the visual system, and to the
domain of perceptual systems in general? Does it extend to the so-called
languagelike systems of music, arithmetic, and logic?

Third, with a restricted conception of mind in hand, we would want to know
if we can make sense of nonlinguistic thoughts (or thoughts without
language) as falling in the domain of the mental. Supposing there to be a
case for nonlinguistic thoughts-especially for nonhuman animals-which
conception of mind is required to capture that domain, if at all? (€˜if at
all€™ because we might not want to view animal '€˜thoughts'€™ as requiring a
concept of mind at all)

Fourth, how does the grammatical notion of mind address the issue of
'€˜Thinking Matter'-€'the presence of thought in a physical world? For example,
does the conception of mind in hand cover the phenomenon of
consciousness which is supposed to be a paradigmatic aspect of the mental
since Descartes? In other words, is consciousnessâ€'certainly shared with
nonhuman animals-mental phenomenon at all from the perspective of the
grammatical mind?

We emphasise two related aspects of this project: (a) it is foundational in
character, (b) it is to be pursued basically as a review of contemporary
philosophical and (cognitive) scientific literature from the perspective as
described. In that sense, the conference is less concerned with cutting edge
results in language theory, vision, music, and the like, and more with how
the existing body of results cohere around a concept of mind.

Nirmalangshu Mukherji, somanshubol.net.in, University of Delhi
Wolfram Hinzen, wolfram.hinzendur.ac.uk, Durham University
Bijoy Boruah, boruahiitk.ac.in, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

Indian Institute of Advanced Studies
Rashtrapati Niwas, Shimla, H.P., India

International Conference
(In collaboration with Indian Council of Philosophical Research)

The Character of Mind
March 18-20, 2011
Programme

March 18

Inauguration : 9.30 - 10.00

Bijoy Boruah
Nirmalangshu Mukherji
Peter Desouza

Session I : 10.00 - 13.00 Classical Indian Reflections
(Tea Break 15 minutes)

Chair: Susan Carey
Speakers: Amita Chatterjee (Navya-Ny?ya variation)
Tea Break
Probal Dasgupta (Bhartrihari's strategy)
Godavarish Mishra (Mind and its Universe)

Lunch : 13.00 - 14.00

Session II : 14.00 - 17.00 Grammar and Mind
(Tea Break 15 minutes)
Chair: Ned Block
Speakers: Guiseppe Longobardi (Human diversity and theory of mind)
Anna Maria Di Sciullo (Mind as inhabitant of natural world)
Tea Break
Wolfram Hinzen (Evolution of recursion and complex thought)

March 19
Session III : 10.00 - 13.00 Beyond Language
(Tea Break 15 minutes)
Chair: Anna Maria Di Sciullo
Speakers: John Mikhail (Moral grammar)
Mohan Mathen (Logical structure of visual content)
Tea Break
Nirmalangshu Mukherji (How far does computational theory go)

Lunch : 13.00 - 14.00

Session IV : 14.00 - 17.00 Philosophy of Mind
(Tea Break 15 minutes)
Chair: Tim Crow
Speakers: Ned Block (Why consciousness research is difficult)
Bijoy Boruah (Self-awareness)
Tea Break
Barry Smith (Human subjects - the normal case?)

March 20
Session V : 10.00 - 13.00 Science of Mind
(Tea Break 15 minutes)
Chair: Amita Chatterjee
Speakers: Susan Carey (Origin of Concepts)
Tea Break
Tim Crow (Speciation Event)
Lunch : 13.00 - 14.00
Closing Session : 14.00 - 16.00
(Tea Break 15 minutes)
Chair: Peter Desouza
Speaker: Partha Ghose (Tagore and Einstein plumb the truth)
Tea Break
Concluding Remarks: Wolfram Hinzen
Vote of Thanks



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Alternatively you can also pledge right now and pay later. To do so, go to: 
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For all information on donating and pledging, including information on how to 
donate by check, money order, or wire transfer, please visit: 
http://linguistlist.org/donation/

The LINGUIST List is under the umbrella of Eastern Michigan University and as 
such can receive donations through the EMU Foundation, which is a registered 
501(c) Non Profit organization. Our Federal Tax number is 38-6005986. These 
donations can be offset against your federal and sometimes your state tax return 
(U.S. tax payers only). For more information visit the IRS Web-Site, or contact 
your financial advisor.

Many companies also offer a gift matching program, such that they will match 
any gift you make to a non-profit organization. Normally this entails your 
contacting your human resources department and sending us a form that the 
EMU Foundation fills in and returns to your employer. This is generally a simple 
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