Consciousness Explaining: Appeals To Feeling In Contemporary Neuroscience

Saturday December 6th, Provost’s Suite, 2P56, W.W. Posvar Hall


Program Outline
09.30-10.00 Continental Breakfast
10.00-11.30 Session One: The functions of feeling
11.30-12.00 Coffee
12.00-1.30 Session Two:
Good and bad feelings
1.30-2.30 Catered lunch
2.30-4.00 Session Three: How are feelings felt?
4.00-4.30 Coffee
4.30-6.00 Session Four: Seeking consensus

Sunday December 7th
10.00 Informal discussion over breakfast, The Quiet Storm, 5430 Penn Avenue (Penn and S. Graham)

Format: ‘Octavian’ discussions. There is a speakers table with eight seats. One or two people introduce the topic and members of the ‘audience’ join the table to discuss with them, remaining until they feel they have no more to add to the discussion. At least one seat must be free at all times, so when the last seat fills, someone must return to the ‘audience’.


Workshop participants are expected to have familiarised themselves with the papers nominated by the topic introducers and to be willing to participate in the discussion. There is a listserv for preliminary discussion before Saturday.

Session Abstracts And Readings

(unpublished readings will be posted at a URL to be emailed to participants)
Session One: The functions of feeling
Introducers: Horacio Arlo Costa (Philosophy, CMU); Jonathan Schooler (Psychology, Pittsburgh)

Preparatory readings:

1. Schooler, J. (2002) Re-representing consciousness, TICS 6(8): 339-344

2. Loomes,G, Sudgen, R. Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of
Rational Choice Under Uncertainty, The Economic Journal
, Vol. 92, No. 368
(Dec 1982), 805-824.

3. Grafman, J. Leland, J., Experimental Tests of the Somatic Marker
Hypothesis, manuscript, IBM Watson Center, 2003.

4. Arlo-Costa, H., Integrating Emotion and Rationality in Behavioral
Models of Decision Making, American Association for Artificial
Intelligence, Summer meeting, FLAIRS-03, 2003.

Session Two: Good and bad feelings

Introducers: Jesse Prinz (Philosophy, UNC); Paul Griffiths (HPS, Pittsburgh)

Preparatory readings:

1. Prinz, J. Valence, from Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion (OUP 2004)
Session Three: How are feelings felt?

Introducers: Stevan Harnad (Center for Cognitive Science, UQAM); John Bickle (Philosophy and Neuroscience, Cincinnati)

Preparatory readings:

1. Harnad, S. (2001) No Easy Way Out. The Sciences 41(2) 36-42.



2. Roozendaal, B, et al., Basolateral amygdala noradrenergic influence enables enhancement of memory
consolidation induced by hippocampal glutocorticoid receptor activation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA
96, pp. 11642-11647, September 1999 (Neurobiology)

3. Roozendaal, B et al., Involvement of stress-released corticotropin-releasing hormone in the basolateral amygdala in regulating memory consolidation Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA 99, pp. 13908-13913, October 15, 2002

Session Four: Seeking consensus positions
Introducers: Several people who have volunteered during the day to present views, distinctions, and priorities for research which they think we might be able to reach a consensus for or against.