• Gunnar Björnsson (Umeå)
  • Anandi Hattiangadi (Stockholm)
  • Susanna Radovic (Gothenburg)
  • Leo Townsend (Oslo)

The meeting is a general philosophy of mind and cognitive science workshop, open to both researchers working within and outside the Nordic region, though a central aim is to foster networking activities within the region. Everyone is welcome, especially early career students and scholars!

Registration is not necessary, but please, send a mail to kathrin.gluer [at] philosophy.su.se by October 10 if you want to join us for dinner (at your own expense).



10:30 - 10:45 Welcome
10:45 - 12:00 Anandi Hattiangadi (Stockholm University)
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch (own arrangements)
13:00 - 14:15 Leo Townsend (University of Oslo)
14:30 - 15:45 Susanna Radovic (Gothenburg University)
16:00 - 17:15 Gunnar Björnsson (Umeå University)
17:15 - 18:00 Open session


Gula Villan, Frescati Campus, Stockholm University

Campus Map: http://www.su.se/english/about/campus/maps/frescati

Note for students (PhD or MA level)

Students are able to give very short presentations (~5 min) of their projects within the open session toward the end of the day, if this facilitates the release of funding for attendance. Please contact kathrin.gluer [at] philosophy.su.se if this applies to you.


Anandi Hattiangadi: Is Intentionality Grounded in Phenomenology?

Intentionality is the capacity to represent something in some way; it essentially involves the instantiation of semantic properties,such as meaning, reference, truth or content. One of the central issues in the philosophical study of intentionality is this: what makes it the case that an arbitrary representation has the semantic properties that it does rather than some other semantic properties or none at all? The question asks for the metaphysical foundations or grounds of intentionality, it asks what constitutes intentionality, what determines the semantic facts.
This paper explores the limitations of an approach to this issue that has recently been gaining in popularity: Phenomenalism, according to which intentionality is ultimately grounded in phenomenology—the ‘what it is like’ of conscious mental life. I will present a challenge to Phenomenalism, and argue that intentionality is not grounded in phenomenology.

Leo Townsend: Collective belief and collective commitment

This paper is about collective belief, where this refers to what we believe, as opposed to simply what you, on the one hand, and I, on the other hand, each believe. My aim is to propose a normativist account of collective belief inspired by the work of Margaret Gilbert on this topic. According to Gilbert’s account, two or more people collectively believe that p if and only if they are jointly committed to believing that p as a single body. But the way she construes joint commitment– as a commitment of and by the several parties to ‘doing something as a body’ – encourages the thought that the phenomenon accounted for is not that of genuine belief.  I explain why this concern arises and then explore an alternative way of construing the commitment constitutive of collective belief, in order to avoid the concern. This leads me to propose a slightly different account of collective belief, according to which two or more people collectively believe that p if and only if they are collectively committed to p’s being true.

Susanna Radovic: Acting from delusions – an investigation of the exculpatory force of delusions

Committing a criminal offence under the influence of a psychotic delusion can in most countries exempt a person from criminal responsibility. The basic idea is that if a person commits an unlawful act but is not aware of what she is doing or that it is wrong, she should not be held responsible for what she did. Delusions may misguide the person not only into believing things that are not true about the act itself, but also into believing that she should do (or is allowed to do) what she should not. Even though the content of the defendant’s delusions comes to the forefront in the court’s assessment of legal insanity, the exculpatory effect of delusions on criminal responsibility is rarely explicitly stated in the legal insanity standards. In this paper I will put forward and analyse some suggestions provided by legal scholars as well as court judges of how to explicate the exculpating force of acting under the influence of delusional beliefs.

Gunnar Björnsson: Cross-modal identification and the absurdity of physicalism

Even proponents have acknowledged that physicalism about consciousness seems unbelievable. The identification of conscious states with physical states strikes us as absurd in ways that other interesting identifications do not, such as the identification of liquidity and firm but non-rigid molecular connection. In this talk, I pursue the hypothesis that this sense of absurdity is to be expected given the workings of our capacities for cross-modal identifications and our experiential access to the states in question.