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Department of Philosophy

Forthcoming Research Seminars and Lectures

Dr Joe Saunders
Research Seminar Coordinator

(For past seminars and lectures see here)

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25th January 2018: Dr Dave Ward (Edinburgh) - What is it like to be a battalion?

(14 September 2017)

Weekly Research Seminar

This Weekly Research Seminar will commence at 11:30am in room 005, 48/49 Old Elvet, Durham. Refreshments will be available from 11:00am with the talk commencing at 11:30am.

Title: What is it like to be a battalion?


Can groups have emergent conscious states? That is, is there something it's like to be some groups, over and above what it's like to be any of their constituents? I'll argue that a necessary condition for group consciousness is perspectival unity - a defender of group consciousness needs to explain the way in which conscious states are integrated into a unified perspective that can be properly attributed to the group. I'll argue for a particular way of meeting this unity condition - unity as intentional access to the contents of conscious states - and show how this condition can be met by a suitably organised group. Distributed artificially intelligent cyborg spaceships will be involved. I'll end by considering whether or not supplying sufficient conditions for group consciousness involves solving the 'Hard Problem' of consciousness, and how one potential solution to the Hard Problem might treat the cases I've discussed.


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