One of the questions repeatedly thrown up in working on this project is the following: what’s the use of consciousness? We discussed some preliminary project findings about this at the RSA lunchtime seminar in the summer. This autumn, we have brought together a wider interdisciplinary panel of experts to give their own perspectives on this perplexing yet central issue in consciousness studies, for a special debate in the auspicious surroundings of the Royal Institution.
Without wanting to emulate Monty Python, we start with the question, ‘what has consciousness ever done for us?’ (and doubtless a brief puzzled silence). But some surprisingly plausible answers are forthcoming. Chaired by psychologist Cecilia Heyes, philosopher David Papineau and neuroscientist Chris Frith will give us their own views. Come along to learn when we should rely on consciousness and when it’s best to farm out control of our actions to non-conscious systems – and to see what’s it’s like to be a subject in some of the key experiments.
The Royal Institution, 7.00-8.30pm, Monday 28 November 2016
Details and booking (essential):