University for everyone Collegium generale

Lecture series

What is consciousness?

Ignorabimus – we will not know. Thus declared the physiologist Emil du Bois-Reymond exact-ly 150 years ago with respect to the connection between consciousness and the nature of matter. Since then, consciousness has been the object of intense research – in liberal arts as well as natural science. Consciousness is being generated, modified, and measured in increasingly differentiated ways: in dreams and dance, through film and language but also through the body itself. Still, important questions remain: Are plants conscious? Are machines? How to explain subjective experience? The Collegium generale lectures series explores the question of consciousness: What do we know, what do we not know yet, and what might we never know?

Five lectures are in English:

28. September 2022 Collaborating to crack consciousness
Prof. Dr. Lucia Melloni, MPI für empirische Ästhetik, Frankfurt
5. Oktober 2022 In the Realm of Dreams
Dr. Leila Tarokh, Universitäre Psychiatrische Dienste (UPD), Universität Bern
12. Oktober 2022 Planta Sapiens: The New Science of Plant Sentience
Prof. Dr. Paco Calvo, Minimal Intelligence Lab, Universidad de Murcia
9. November 2022 Language and Social Consciousness
Prof. Dr. Erez Levon, Center for the Study of Language and Society, Universität Bern
16. November 2022 Cooperation and Human Cognition
Prof. Dr. Michael Tomasello, Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University

For full program details, please see the German page.

Bild von Kopf eines Menschen
© Chris Gash