Approaches to Consciousness Part III

Approaches to Consciousness Part III


Consciousness can be studied from many positions within both science and philosophy. This explored research on consciousness in the brain, theoretical models of consciousness in cognitive science, as well as neurophenomenological investigations and Buddhist views on consciousness. Christof Koch introduced a brain-focused approach to consciousness, and outlined the differences between states of consciousness (awake, deep sleep, coma), what we know about the neural basis of consciousness in human and non-human animals, and how these are studied in the laboratory and the clinic. Rajesh Kasturirangan discussed a theoretical cognitive model of consciousness by introducing the “self as organizer” presupposition as a bridging framework between the various Indian philosophical traditions and the mind-brain sciences. Michel Bitbol discussed consciousness from a phenomenological standpoint, challenging the view that conscious experience derives from a material basis.

  • Dialogue 26
    27 sessions
  • January 20, 2013
    Drepung Monastery, Mundgod, India
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Michel Bitbol

Michel Bitbol, PhD, is Directeur de Recherche at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, in Paris, France. He is presently based at the Archives Husserl, a center of research in Phenomenology. He was educated at several universities in Paris, where he received successively his MD in 1980, his PhD in Physics in 1985, and his “Habilitation” in Philosophy in 1997. Michel worked as a research scientist in biophysics from 1978 to 1990. Thereafter, he turned to the philosophy of physics. He published a book entitled Schrödinger’s Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics (1996), and also worked on a neo-Kantian interpretation of quantum mechanics. In 1997 he was the recipient of an award from the Academie des sciences morales et politiques for his work in the philosophy of quantum mechanics. Later on, he focused on the hotly debated connections between the philosophy of quantum mechanics and the philosophy of mind. He published a book on that topic in 2000, and worked in close collaboration with Francisco Varela around this time. He is presently developing a conception of consciousness inspired from neurophenomenology, and an epistemology of first-person knowledge. Michel also learned Sanskrit to better understand basic texts by Nagarjuna and Candrakirti, and recently published a book De l’intérieur du monde: pour une philosophie et une science des relations, 2010 in which he draws a parallel between Buddhist interdependence and non-supervenient relations in quantum physics and the theory of knowledge