SOPhiA 2019

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Consciousness and Process Philosophy
(Philosophy of Mind, English)

In the current debate about the mind-body-problem two positions are prominent: dualism and physicalism. However, both have to face severe problems. According to (substance) dualism, mind and body are two completely separate things. The most crucial problem for dualism is then the causal interaction of these, i.e. the problem of psychophysical interaction. Physicalism on the other hand states that the ontological primacy belongs only to the things described by physics -- the mental is thus, if it exists at all, merely a product of the physical. The justified question is then how something so fundamentally different from the physical like the mental can arise out of such. In my talk, I will opt for an alternative to these two positions: the process philosophy of A.N. Whitehead. According to him substance metaphysics is the core reason for the aforementioned problems, which is still prevalent in dualism and physicalism. Opposed to this he comprises the cosmos as process wherein change is the only permanence. The talk will consist of a brief overview of the core principles of Whitehead's philosophy before trying to show how we can develop a better understanding of consciousness within this completely different framework.

Chair: Ruben Noorloos
Time: 14:00-14:30, 20 September 2019 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.007

Friedrich Sieben 
(Munich School of Philosophy, Germany)

Friedrich Sieben is a Ph.D. student at Munich School of Philosophy. In his thesis he is trying to show how the process philosophy of Alfred N. Whitehead is a more promising approach in understanding consciousness than the other positions in the philosophy of mind are. He is funded by the Hanns Seidel Foundation and supervised by Prof. Dr. Godehard Brüntrup.

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