[SydPhil] UOW Philosophy Seminar (Dr. Tom Froese)

michael kirchhoff michael.david.kirchhoff at gmail.com
Mon Oct 24 09:05:41 AEDT 2016

UOW Philosophy Seminar Series

Title/Topic: When me and you are more than two: Searching for the
conditions of genuine intersubjectivity

Speaker: Dr. Tom Froese (National Autonomous University of Mexico; UOW VISA

Time: 3.30 to 5.00pm
When: Thursday 27 October
Place: 19.2072 (Research Hub)
Contact: Michael Kirchhoff (kirchhof at uow.edu.au)

Abstract: The most meaningful experiences in our lives derive much of their
significance from being shared with other people. However, is it actually
possible to share a moment such that there are two subjects of one
experience? Mainstream cognitive science is forced to reject this
possibility of genuine intersubjectivity because another person can only
play an instrumental role in the generation of one’s experience.
Essentially, our experiences with family, friends, and loved ones do not
involve them at all; these experiences are ultimately constituted by mental
representations in one’s mind for which they can, at best, serve as an
external cause or trigger. In this talk I question the validity of this
solipsistic approach. Drawing on insights from dynamical systems modeling,
I consider the basic conditions that would allow interacting individuals to
become transformed into one integrated system with collective properties. I
then present the latest evidence from psychological experiments that
investigate the role that social interaction plays in shaping our awareness
of other minds. I conclude that there is nothing mysterious about the
possibility of genuine intersubjectivity.


*Dr. Michael D. Kirchhoff *
Lecturer in Philosophy
School of Humanities and Social Enquiry
Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts
University of Wollongong NSW 2522
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