Fiction and Other Minds Seminar
Title: 'Towards a Co-Modelling of Cognition: Beckett, Introspection by Simulation, and the Predictive Self'
Speaker: Dr Marco Bernini (Durham University)
Tuesday, February 28, 2023: 17:15 to 19:00
Contemporary scientific debate about the self can be qualified as an arena opened by a Cartesian orphanage. For long, as Gallagher and Spear note, Descartes’ “thesis that self is a single, simple, continuing, and unproblematically accessible mental substance resonated with common sense, and quickly came to dominate European thought”. The growing number of books by foremost philosophers of mind and neuroscientists on the “illusion of self” is the most tangible sign of how the current dominating theory is rather that we are not who we feel or think we are. The new debate on the self has led to a vital a variety of competing or complementing explanatory models attempting to account for what is illusory about the self, for what is not, and for how this illusion is generated. These models will be progressively reviewed throughout this talk, as the theoretical ground against which to understand and analyze Beckett’s own variety of modeling solutions in exploring what he also called, in a letter to George Duthuit, “the illusion of the human and the fully realised”. This talk is based on the first chapter of my monograph Beckett and the Cognitive Method, which sets forth a theoretical argument for Beckett’s relevance to the scientific study of the mind. It will present an exemplification of a practice I am describing throughout the book as ‘introspection by simulation’ (ie, introspection scaffolded by extended creative practice in different media). It will begin by introducing the kind of triangulation between narrative theory, cognitive sciences, and narrative works that I am envisaging as necessary to what I term a ‘co-modelling’ of cognition.
The seminar is convened by Professor Ben Morgan (email@example.com) and Dr Naomi Rokotnitz (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Location: Seminar Room 7, St Anne's College
The talk will be followed by drinks for all attendees
Hegel Reading Group
We shall be meeting on Tuesdays 6-7.30 pm on Skype; please email email@example.com for the Skype link.
This term and the next we are reading Hegel’s Anthropology, in the ‘Philosophy of Mind’ (translation is by Wallace and Miller) but we will work from the Michael Inwood revision (OUP 2007). We are starting (in 1st Week) from para 377, eventually getting to the end at para 412 (we will not read the Zuzatse in the sessions).
The reading is posted each week on hegelinoxford.wordpress.com
Gadfly Reading Group
focusing on the writings of Plato
Meet on Tuesdays during term time, 7:30pm at St John’s College
“I am the gadfly of the Athenian people” - Socrates, in Plato’s Apology
The Gadfly Club was founded because we believe that dialogue is the principal and most effective method of understanding ourselves and the world around us. We thus read Plato’s dialogue not just as a model of dialogue, nor only for his philosophical insights; we use his dialogues as a springboard to discuss the real and living problems they present. This is why, after an hour or more of live-reading, we head to the only place friends and philosophers must go – the pub!
We encourage all – especially those who don’t consider themselves ‘students of philosophy’ – to come and join us, hoping to remain true to the main desire of the OSM – that of stimulating inter-disciplinary engagement.