Physicalist and reductionist presuppositions thoroughly permeate both the philosophy and sciences of the mind. However, some scholars believe that physicalist and reductionist approaches to the mind currently suffer from diminishing returns (in addition to possibly being false). The time, therefore, is apt to consider alternatives. What would the philosophy and sciences of the mind look like absent physicalist or reductionist assumptions? What kinds of new insights into, or what kind of progress in our understanding of, the mind and its power might be revealed by investigations informed by nonphysicalist or nonreductionist frameworks? What do nonphysicalist and nonreductionist frameworks for investigating the mind even look like? In light of the current state in the philosophy and sciences of the mind, we propose a two-year, £1.25 million project to stimulate the discovery, cultivation, and application of nonreductionist, nonphysicalist, yet still scientifically-informed, approaches to the philosophy and sciences of mind. Led by Tim Crane, the Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and a leading proponent of nonreductionist, nonphysicalist theories in the philosophy of mind, this project's components include (a) a £700,000 RFP competition for research funding on the project's Big Questions, (b) a series of workshops and conferences, (c) two postdoctoral fellowships at Cambridge, (d) a weekly project seminar at Cambridge, and (e) several research visits to Cambridge by distinguished scholars to give lectures and talks at the weekly project seminar. Our hope is that this project will move the discussions in the philosophy and sciences of the mind beyond the usual debates over the viability of physicalism and reductionism, and toward efforts to construct plausible alternatives.
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