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Monday 8th April - 17:20 BST

IAI Live April: Mind, Matter & Everything

Is there more to consciousness than the mind?

Judith Butler, Tamar Gendler, Sean Carroll, Ellen Langer, Jack Symes

IAI Live April, featuring Judith Butler, Sean Carroll, Ellen Langer & Tamar Gendler, will be taking place in our online festival venue - you can explore by clicking HERE. Please make sure to log-in with your account used to buy the ticket, or with the account linked to your subscription.

IAI Live April is a unique programme of online debate, discussion, and discovery questioning philosophy's greatest question - the mind. Join our expert panel for a heated debate, an in-depth interview and an exclusive solo talk - all included in either a pay-per-view ticket or a Premium Live subscripion!

There is a widespread belief that we are getting closer to describing how the mind works. In a 2020 survey of English speaking philosophers, more than half thought materialism described the human mind. But critics point to the danger of imagining that an ever more sophisticated material account of the brain brings us nearer to an understanding of consciousness. After all we don't have an explanation of a single thought let alone for experience as a whole. And even Richard Dawkins said that scientists 'are no more equipped to deal with consciousness than anyone else'.

Do we need to accept that material stuff is a radically different sort of thing than thought and consciousness, and one can never be explained in terms of the other?  Can we overcome the opposition of the physical and the mental by seeing them as linguistic categories rather than ultimate metaphysical states? Or can materialism, pull the rabbit from the hat and be extended to account for thought and experience?