26-27 October 2018 | École normale supérieure | 45 rue d’Ulm | Paris

We are pleased to draw your attention to an upcoming symposium on ‘Methodological Issues in Consciousness Research: Interdisciplinary Perspectives’, which runs from 26-27 October in Paris. The workshop is organised through ALIUS by David Dupuis (post-doctoral research fellow with HtV), Mattieu Koroma and Raphaël Millière, and will explore the neuroscience of consciousness, field survey methods and new methodological developments that bridge first and third-person approaches to the study of consciousness.

About ALIUS and the workshop:

ALIUS is an international and interdisciplinary research group dedicated to the investigation of all aspects of consciousness, with a specific focus on non-ordinary or understudied conscious states traditionally classified as altered states of consciousness. The group fosters a unique interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers, involving anthropologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers of mind and psychiatrists, towards the development of a systematic and scientific model of consciousness supported by both theoretical work and experimental studies. This interdisciplinarity also aims to facilitate the investigation of consciousness states at different scales, at different levels of analysis, and with different methodologies. Neuroscientific, philosophical and anthropological approaches to the study of hallucinations, for example, are likely to be mutually informative. However, this plurality of approaches has been a source of criticism between disciplines. While neuroscience is often deemed reductionist, anthropology is sometimes taken to be unduly relativist, and philosophy is routinely suspected of being disconnected from empirical research. Their position is conciliatory rather than antagonistic: they see disciplinary diversity as a resource in the collective effort to achieve a scientific understanding of consciousness.

Nonetheless, this interdisciplinarity raises important questions: which methodological approaches allow for a fruitful dialogue between disciplines in the investigation of consciousness? This question is the starting point of this workshop, which will present recent developments on methodological issues in consciousness research across disciplines. This event is intended first and foremost as a collective reflection on the methods used by ALIUS researchers, in order to understand their strengths and limitations. The workshop revolves around three axes, each of which will be discussed over half a day. The first session, coordinated by Matthieu Koroma (ENS-IJN), will focus on how studying the diversity of conscious states questions dominant paradigms in neuroscience of consciousness. The second session, coordinated by David Dupuis (Durham University), will provide a reflection on the contribution of field survey methods as they are conducted in social anthropology in the study of consciousness. Finally, the third session, coordinated by Raphael Millière (University of Oxford), will discuss new methodological development bridging first-person and third-person approaches to the scientific study of consciousness.

Download the flyer here.

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