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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Professor David Papineau

Thinking About Emergence Public Lecture - Emergent Causation and the Philosophy of Mind

8th December 2014, 18:15 to 19:15, Kingsley Barrett Room, Calman Learning Centre, Lower Mountjoy, Professor David Papineau (Kings College London)

Each year the IAS organises a public lecture series relating to the Institute’s research theme, aiming to deliver an exciting and stimulating series drawing a wide range of speakers and researchers to Durham and encouraging wider public engagement with the work and ideas emerging from the IAS.

This year’s IAS series is entitled Thinking About Emergence. The series will offer insights into Emergence from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Speakers in the series include neurobiologist Professor Colin Blakemore (FRS); cosmologist Professor John Barrow (FRS); evolutionary biochemist Dr Nick Lane; Philosopher Professor David Papineau; historian Professor Ludmilla Jordanova; anthropologist Professor Ruth Mace; classist Dr Mark Usher and archaeologist Professor Colin Renfrew (FBA).

These lectures are free and open to all.


Intuitively, causal relations might seem to depend on impacts between microscopic physical objects. However I shall show that this is a superficial illusion, and that causation is an essentially macroscopic phenomenon. On this basis, I shall draw various conclusions about the causal autonomy of the mental realm. 


David Papineau has held posts at Reading University, Macquarie University, Birkbeck College London, and Cambridge University, and has been Professor of Philosophy at King's College London since 1990. His books include Philosophical Naturalism (1993), Thinking about Consciousness (2002) and Philosophical Devices (2012). He was President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science for 1993-95, President of the Mind Association for 2009-10 and President of the Aristotelian Society for 2103-14.

Map – The Calman Learning Centre is denoted at building number: 43.

Contact for more information about this event.