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LINGUIST List 25.387

Thu Jan 23 2014

Confs: Cognitive Science, Neurolinguistics, Computational Linguistics/USA

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

Date: 22-Jan-2014
From: Sean O Nuallain <eireannyahoo.com>
Subject: Foundations of Mind: Cognition and Consciousness
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Foundations of Mind: Cognition and Consciousness
Short Title: FOM

Date: 06-Mar-2014 - 07-Mar-2014
Location: UC Berkeley, USA
Contact: Sean O Nuallain
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://foundationsofmind.org/

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Neurolinguistics

Meeting Description:

'The Foundations of Mind: Cognition and Consciousness' Conference
Mar 6-7 2014 UC Berkeley

Confirmed plenary speakers/panellists include

Stuart Kauffman (U Vermont)
Terry Deacon (UC Berkeley)
Henry Stapp (LBNL, UC Berkeley)
Ed Vul (UCSD)
Jacob Needleman (SFSU)
Jerome Feldman (ICSI, UC Berkeley)
Tom Griffiths (UC Berkeley)
Robert Campbell (Clemson U)
Mike Cole (UCSD)
José Acacio de Barros (SFSU/Stanford)
Mike Cole ( UCSD)
Christian de Quincey (JFK)
Sean O Nuallain (UoI)
Fr. Robert Spitzer (Magis institute)
Tony Bell (UC Berkeley)

This will be held Mar 6-7 2014, Sproul Room at international house at UC Berkeley with Skype links to participants who cannot travel to the event.


'Foundations of mind' conference

Sproul room, international house, UC Berkeley

Mar 6-7, 2014

Registration details at:


Preliminary schedule:

Thursday March 6

8:30 a.m.

9 a.m.
Jacob Needleman and Robert Spitzer will give 30-minute keynotes, followed by a respnse from Stuart Kauffman and a discussion

It is now accepted that the Abrahamic religions, focused as they are on community solidarity based on the sacred and with it the supernatural, are inappropriate for environmental preservation even without their licensing of exploitation of the earth. Yet spiritual expressions based on emphasizing the unity of subject and object, self and environment, fail to give an adequate account of acts of mind that stress this difference. The ideal would be a spiritual system wherein both the extraordinarily unlikely nature of life and earth as well as the moral imperative to protect it would emerge as consequences from its ontology and metaphysics. Does such a system exist or can it be created?

10:45 a.m.

Panel 1 for Mar 6

In general, each panellist will speak for 15 minutes; then the panel as a whole will discuss the issues for 30 minutes before opening matters up to the audience

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Panel 1 Linearity, psychologism, and voodoo correlations

Speakers/panellists; Ed Vul (UCSD), Tom Griffiths (UC Berkeley), Tony Bell (UC Berkeley) Sean O Nuallain (UoI)

Gottlieb Frege famously excoriated the attempt to reduce logico-mathematical reasoning to a description of the psychological processes underpinning it as “ psychologism”. But, the response goes, these logico-mathematical entities are indeed processed in the brain, so surely it is neither quixotic nor formally incorrect to seek an appropriate psychological explanation for them. One such candidate explanation is a faculty psychology based on assignment of these faculties to the cerebral locations that fmri has been celebrated for finding.

Neo-Fregeans might have two responses. In the first place, the fmri results perhaps evince premature closure in their statistical analysis. Secondly, fmri's localizations are scalar entities in a cerebral system clearly capable of operating with vectors and even higher-order tensors .In fact, neo-Fregeans might argue, fmri implicitly makes extraordinary claims about the nature of scientific explanation, claims that are hard to justify.

Where does all this leave us?

1 p.m.

Panel 2 for Mar 6

2-3:45 p.m.
Cognitive science and neuroscience

Speakers/panellists; Jerome Feldman (ICSI, Berkeley), Robert Campbell (Clemson), Ed Vul. Mike Cole ( UCSD), Terry Deacon (UC Berkeley)

Science is a reductionist enterprise - we look for explanations of phenomena at more basic levels. This does not entail ''eliminative reduction'' where only the lowest level has explanatory power. Theory, modelling, and experiment at multiple levels is important and these should be consistent. For Cognitive Science, the ancient formulation of knowledge as truth may be a serious barrier to understanding the mapping of thought to neurobiology and beyond.

3:45 p.m.

4 p.m.
Keynote: Stanley Klein

5 p.m.
Submitted papers/posters

7 p.m.
Concert of celtic jazz to celebrate women's day; free for conference attendees

Friday March 7

Keynote speakers: Henry Stapp (LBNL), Tony Bell (UC Berkeley), Stuart Kauffman

9:30 a.m.
Stuart Kauffman: Answering Descartes; beyond Turing.
Response by Terry Deacon (UC Berkeley)

10:45 a.m.

11 a.m.
Submitted papers and posters

12 p.m.
Lunch break

1 p.m.
Keynote: Tony Bell

2 p.m.
Panel 2 Quantum mind and is critics

Discussants: Henry Stapp, José Acacio de Barros, Stanley Klein Carlos Montemayor and others

The Quantum mind hypothesis essentially states that quantum effects are causative in will and cognitions, leading to an assertion of free will. It is no longer in doubt that there is a deep mystery associated with information, the mind, and reality, a mystery that results in paradoxical findings with observer status in quantum mechanics. It may be the case that our current concept of information is too coarse-grained; it may also be the case that conscious will is actually causative in the cosmos. Recently, the standard objections to Quantum mind on the basis of decoherence in biological systems have been refuted by discoveries that photosynthesis involves quantum superposition. Likewise, cognition shows effects readily explicable by quantum formalisms. However, these effects may also be looked at in terms of neural systems as harmonic oscillators; or is this objection even relevant?

3:45 p.m.

4 p.m.
Submitted papers and posters

6 p.m.

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