The Science of Consciousness

April 13-18, 2020




Monday, April 13, 2020

2:00-6:00 pm

Salon F


Allan Combs, Maria Kasmirli, Thomas G. Bever


Education in Consciousness Studies


The topic of consciousness has burgeoned in recent years from footnotes in paperbacks on philosophy to significant discussions in scholarly fields as widely dissimilar as neurology, robotics, medicine, psychotherapy, cognitive psychology, animal intelligence, and many others. And it is an increasingly sought-after topic in college curricula. The presenters of this workshop have much experience with the challenges, successful techniques, and rewards of teaching about consciousness. In this workshop they share their experience through lecture, graphic images, and open dialogue, exploring the topic of education for consciousness studies.

Each presenter will speak for roughly an hour, including time for Q&A and an open panel discussion at the end.



Allan Combs is President Emeritus of The Society for Consciousness Studies, and recent recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award. He will present a broad graphic overview of the field of consciousness studies and the any disciplines in which it now makes significant contributions. In doing so, he will speak to how these are of interest to a wide variety of students.



Maria Kasmirli is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield UK, and a teacher at the School of European Education in Heraklion, Greece. She has worked in philosophy of language, but her current interests lie in philosophy of education and, in particular, the practice of teaching philosophy to children (P4C). She will be discussing why it is useful to introduce children to consciousness studies, suggesting how it can best be done, and presenting a draft syllabus suitable for younger students (primary and secondary school), as well as inviting questions and discussion. There is more information about Maria on her website:



Thomas Bever is a Regents Professor in Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Philosophy and Neuroscience; and co-director of the Center for Consciousness Studies. He interested in the pedagogy of teaching consciousness studies, and is designing an undergraduate minor in Consciousness Studies within the Honors College at the University of Arizona. His presentation will also include a discussion of do’s and don’ts when dealing with academic bureaucracies surrounding unconventional areas such as consciousness studies. (About which uninformed bureaucrats and others often think they already have the right ideas on how to pursue it.)