The Program of the "Uncovering the Magic of Consciousness" conference

June 6, 2024

The First ICCS Conference
"Uncovering the Magic of Consciousness: Philosophy, Neuroscience, AI"
Siena, Santa Maria della Scala, Sala “Italo Calvino”, 27–29 June 2024

Conference Program
* Please note that the program is still being finalized and may be subject to change

Day 1, 27 June 2024

9:00 — Welcome Reception, Registration of Participants

09:30 — Greetings
Welcome Address by ICCS Chairs Dmitry Volkov and Pietro Perconti
Vanna Giunti, Representative of the Municipality of Siena
Tomaso Montanari, Rector of the University for Foreigners of Siena

09:50 — ICCS Presentation
Presentation of the mission and objectives of the ICCS
Artem Besedin, Moscow

10:15 — Consciousness Research: Challenges and Innovations
Chair: Riccardo Manzotti, IULM Milan 
10:15 (A1) Eric Olson, Sheffield, On substance dualism (To be defined)
11:00 (A2) Alberto Voltolini, Torino, The Copula Theory of Consciousness Makes Experience the Mark of the Mental
11:45 (A3) Andrew Mertsalov, Moscow, Personal Identity and Moral Responsibility

12:30 — Lunch

14:00 — Cognitive Models of Consciousness: Bridging Theory and Experiment
Chair: Giacomo Romano, Siena
14:00 (B1) Alex Byrne, MIT Boston, Natural Minds, Artificial Minds, Simulated Minds
14:45 (B2) Sergey Levin, Dublin, Corporate Mind and Altruistic Intentions
15:30 (B3) Shaun Gallagher, Memphis, Conscious engagement with AI: Three forms of transparency
16:15 (B4) Daniel Stoljar, Canberra, Inner Speech: An Attentional View

17:00 — Coffee break

17:30 — Challenge: Qualia Illusionism. A scientific problem or a philosophical puzzle?
Chair: Alex Byrne, Boston
Topic: The Science of Sirens: What Implications does Illusionism have for the Science of Consciousness?
Speakers: François Kammerer (Paris) vs. Artem Besedin (Moscow)

Day 2, 28 June 2024

9:30 — Neuroscience and Conscious Experience
Chair: Artem Besedin, Moscow 
9:30 (C1) Paavo Pylkkänen, Helsinki, The role of information in the explanation of consciousness
10:15 (C2) Simone Rossi, Siena, Neuromodulation of disorders of consciousness: where we are?
11:00 (C3) Sandro Nannini, Siena, Is consciousness a higher-order property of brain dynamics? A naturalistic-philosophical approach to this hypothesis
11:45 (C4) Liad Mudrik, Tel Aviv, Consciousness beyond the human brain: how can we tell if non-human organisms/systems are conscious?

12:30 — Lunch

14:00 — In memoriam: Daniel C. Dennett
Chair: Pietro Perconti, Messina
Nicholas Humphrey, LSE London, Video about Daniel Dennett
Keith Frankish, Sheffield/Crete, Dennett's Hard Question
Discussants: Nicholas Humphrey & Dmitry Volkov

15:30 — Challenge: World vs. Brain. Is consciousness inside the brain?
Chair: Simone Rossi, Siena
Topic: Where is consciousness? Is it an internal phenomenon of the brain, or could it be radically located in the external world? Brain or object?
Speakers: Riccardo Manzotti (Milano) vs. Claire Sergent (Paris)

17:00 — Visit to Santa Maria della Scala Museum

Day 3, 29 June 2024

09:30 — Sentient Beings
Chair: Michael Pauen, Berlin 
09:30 (E1) Nicholas Humphrey, LSE London, Consciousness as Art
10:15 (E2) Michael Pauen, Berlin, A Plank across the Explanatory Gap: The Case of Pain
11:00 (E3) Giorgio Vallortigara, Trento, Natural split brains and the efference copy
11:45 (E4) Emanuele Castano, Trento & CNR, Fiction Enhances Emotional Consciousness

12:30 — Lunch

14:00 — Models of Consciousness 
Chair: Andrew Mertsalov, Moscow
14:00 (F1) Keith Frankish, Sheffield/Crete, The Response Schema Theory of Consciousness 
14:45 (F2) Pietro Perconti, Messina, Social sentient beings 
15:30 (F3) Alessio Plebe, Messina, Forms of Awareness in Neural Language Models?

16:15 — Poster presentation & Coffee Break
Alessandro Acciai (Messina), Do neural language models have a narrative consciousness?
Artem Besedin (Moscow), Illusionism as an Epistemology of Consciousness 
Domenica Bruni (Messina), “Virtual Insanity”. Natural and digital forms of sexual attraction
Anton Kuznetsov (Moscow), Consciousness is Dead. Long Live Consciousness!
Uliana Limitovskaya (Moscow), The Problematic Nature of Illusion in Illusionism
Eugeny Loginov (Moscow), The Moorean Argument and Illusionism
Mehdi Osanlou (Messina) & Abootaleb Safdari (Bremen), Why anthropomorphism is not enough for trustworthy relations with automata? A phenomenological critique and proposal
Maria Raffa (IULM Milan), Sustainable Consciousness through Active Inference: A Simulation
Maria Schennikova (Moscow), People adopt the intentional stance towards robots that explain reasons of their actions

17:30 — Challenge: Artificial Consciousness vs biological chauvinism
Chair: Dmitry Volkov
Topic: Is consciousness a biological phenomenon? Does it require life, or could it be the outcome of completely artificial processes or even entirely virtual and digital ones?
Speakers: Antonio Chella (Palermo) vs. Marco Gori (Siena)

19:00 — The ICCS Meeting
Discussion on the perspectives of the ICCS development
Participants: Founders, Academic Council, Advisory Board, Members 
Chair: Anton Kuznetsov

21:00 — “Piazza del CampoDinner* 
* for the conference participants 

The event is organized in collaboration with the University of Messina, IULM University (Milan). It will also benefit from the patronage of the Municipality of Siena, the University of Siena, and the University for Foreigners of Siena.

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