Skip to main content

Russellian Monism: Time for the Details

Academic & Research
Saturday, August 12, 2017, 8:30 am – Sunday, August 13, 2017, 6:00 pm

Russellian monism is an exciting new theory of consciousness, which promises to avoid both the problems of dualism and the problems of physicalism. Russellian Monism: Time for the Details will explore and evaluate various forms of Russellian monism.

There will be seven themed sessions, each consisting either of short talks or responses to a pre-circulated paper followed by discussion. Rather than speakers giving long defences of their own views, the focus will be on getting ideas out for discussion.

Day 1: Varieties of Russellian monism

8:30-9:00: What is Russellian monism?
Sam Coleman
(University of Hertfordshire) and Philip Goff (Central European University)

9:00-10:45: Idealism and Russellian monism
David Chalmers
(New York University) and Susan Schneider (University of Connecticut)
Format: 2x30 min talks, followed by discussion

10:45-11:00: Coffee break

11:00-1:00: Panpsychism versus Panprotopsychism
Jakub Mihalik
(Charles University, Prague), Sam Coleman (University of Hertfordshire), Barbara Montero (City University New York)
Format: 2x30 min responses to Mihalik's pre-circulated paper, 10 min counter-response from Mihalik, followed by discussion

1:00-2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:30 Emergence versus Reductionism
Adam Pautz
(Brown University) and Luke Roelofs (Ruhr-University Bochum)
Format: 30min response to Pautz's pre-circulated paper, 10 min counter-response from Pautz followed by discussion

3:30-3:45 Coffee break

3:45-5:30 Cosmopsychism
Philip Goff (
Central European University) and Yujin Nagasawa (University of Birmingham)
Format: 2x30 min talks, followed by discussion

Day 2: Problems and Challenges

10:00-11:45 The Combination Problem
David Bourget
(Western University) and Angela Mendelovici (Western University)
Format: 2x30 min talks, followed by discussion

11:45-12:00 Coffee break

12:00-1:35 Mental Causation and Causal Exclusion Problem
Mørch, Hedda Hassel
(New York University, University of Oslo), Torin Alter (University of Alabama), Robert Howell (SMU)
Format: 30 min response to pre-circulated papers by Alter and Mørch, 2x10 min counter-responses from Alter and Mørch, followed by discussion

1:35-2:30 Lunch

2:30-4:15: The Structural Mismatch Problem
Tom McClelland (University of Warwick), Luke Roelofs
(Ruhr-University Bochum)
Format: 2x30 talks, followed by discussion

4:15-4:30 Coffee break

4:30-6:00 Final Discussion
David Chalmers
(New York University), Howard Robinson (CEU)
Summing up followed by discussion

More information and introductory sources:

  • Philip Goff explaining the essence of Russellian monism here.
  • Simple intro to the basic idea of Russellian monism: Goff, P. (2016) 'Bertrand Russell's solution to the problem of consciousness': from Leach & Tartaglia (Eds.) Consciousness and the Great Philosophers, Routledge. Read it here.
  • A fuller account of the advantages of Russellian monism: Chalmers, D. (2015) 'Panpsychism and panprotopsychism,' from Alter & Nagasawa (Eds.) Consciousness in the Physical World, Oxford University Press. (See the download option below.)
  • Adam Pautz: A Dilemma for Russellian Monists About Consciousness - presentation on Youtube
  • Visit the Facebook page of the conference here.

The conference is  funded with a grant from the Templeton funded project 'New Directions in the Philosophy of Mind.

Thank you to all those who have registered. Registration is now closed as we have reached our full capacity for the conference.