Past events

The following events have been made possible due to the generous funding of the Volkswagen Foundation, often in conjunction with other funding agencies.

Virtually ourselves

January 25th, 2018

CFS Copenhagen

Organised by Adrian Alsmith.

Virtual reality technology (VR) has become increasingly adept at enabling subjects to feel present in virtual worlds. Arguably, the heart of this phenomenon is the experience of oneself as a virtual body within the virtual world perceived. Unconstrained by the bounds of physical reality, VR thus presents the promise of otherwise impossible forms of self-conscious experience, thus stretching our current understanding of the limits of our self-conscious experience.

This workshop brought together philosophers, psychologists, VR researchers and VR artists to explore the relationship between illusory experience in VR and contemporary psychological and philosophical conceptions of self-consciousness.

The workshop included presentations and demonstrations by:

  • Bigna Lenggenhager and Marte Roel (University of Zurich)
  • Raphaël Milliere (University of Oxford)
  • Betty Mohler (MPI Tübingen)
  • Mel Slater (University of Barcelona)
  • Mariam Zakarian (Amaryllis VR)
  • Aske Mottelson (University of Copenhagen)

Other participants included:

  • Adrian Alsmith (University of Copenhagen)
  • Thor Grünbaum (University of Copenhagen)
  • Kasper Hornbæk (University of Copenhagen)
  • Alisa Mandrigin (University of Stirling)
  • Anastasia Pavlidou (CNRS Marseille)
  • Daniel Perez-Marcos (MindMaze)
  • Andrea Serino (EPFL)
  • Hong Yu Wong (University of Tübingen)

See full programme here.

Embodiment and Self: Empirical, Clinical, Philosophical and Virtual Perspectives

January 27th, 2017

MPI Tübingen

Organised by Krizstina Orban and Hong Yu Wong.

This workshop focused on the relationship between representations of the body and the epistemology and metaphysics of bodily selfhood. Representation of the body as the self has been an increasing focus of research in both neuropsychology and philosophy, as well as in the application of psychological research in creating virtual avatars. Speakers at the workshop presented their research on body representation and selfhood from these different perspectives in an effort to bring them into a more fruitful dialogue.

See the full programme here.

New Perspectives on embodiment & self-location

November 8th - 9th, 2016


Organised by Christophe Lopez and Anastasia Pavlidou.

This workshop brought together researchers in philosophy, psychology, computer science and neurophysiology working on embodiment and self-location.

These topics are wide ranging. Accordingly,  presentations covered many more specific topics, including:

  • mereotopology in mental representation of the body;
  • forms of selfhood disrupted in depersonalisation and Cotard's syndrome;
  • vestibular contributions to perspective-taking, verticality, orientation, bodily experience and self-consciousness;
  • self-location and body perception in virtual environments;
  • multiple motivations in desire for amputation;
  • affective contributions to proprioceptive perception of body movements.

 See the full programme here.

The Unity of Perception

A Workshop with Susanna Schellenberg

July 4th – 5th, 2016


Organised by Hong Yu Wong  and Thomas Sattig.

This workshop will focussed on topics in the philosophy of perception and was structured around discussion of Susanna's Schellenberg's work. On the first day there was a workshop on different facets of perception featuring Prof. Schellenberg, Prof. Sattig and project members, Alsmith, Orban and Brozzo. On the second day there was a discussion of chapters from Prof. Schellenberg’s manuscript The Unity of Perception (forthcoming). Susanna Schellenberg is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. This workshop was predominantly funded by the Humboldt Foundation through a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award to Prof. Schellenberg.

See the full programme here.


DECEMBER 10 - 11, 2015 


Organised by Adrian Alsmith.

This workshop celebrated the vicennial anniversary of Bermudez et al.'s landmark 1995 publication The Body and the Self (MIT, Bradford Books). Each presentation was a draft of a contribution to a forthcoming MIT Press collection, edited by Adrian Alsmith and Frédérique de Vignemont. The study of bodily experience and bodily self-awareness has blossomed considerably in the last two decades. The aim of the new collection - tentatively titled, The Body and the Self, Revisited - is to revisit the themes of The Body and the Self in light of new experimental evidence and advances in philosophical, neuroscientific and psychological theory.

Themes discussed in the workshop (and planned contributions to the volume) include: whether the body is necessarily represented in visual experience (Richardson); the functional role of limb representations in somatoparaphrenia (Garbarini); the sense of body ownership and the spatiality of bodily sensation (Bermúdez); brain plasticity in tool-users (Farné) and phantom limb sufferers (Makin); the functional role of self-representation in a predictive coding architecture (Hohwy and Michael); and whether the representation of agency is a necessary condition on self-consciousness (Peacocke). Project partner Hong Yu Wong discussed the relationship between bodily experience and bodily action; he is planning a contribution to the volume focussed on balance.

The workshop was held privately, at the King Arthur Hotel. This enabled authors to share their work in a relatively small group and have plenty of discussion to give everyone some understanding of the range of topics being dealt with in the volume. The event was co-funded by a grant to Adrian Alsmith from the Danish Council for Independent Research | Humanities.

See the full programme here.

Kick-off workshop 

April 27 - 28, 2015

MPI Tübingen

Organised by Hong Yu Wong & Betty Mohler.

This workshop aimed to introduce and evaluate some of the central ideas of the project's interdisciplinary research programme.

The project partners gave talks exploring aspects of the relationship between bodily experience and perspectivally structured perception. Yet perspectival structure is arguably a pervasive feature of the mental. Accordingly, the workshop explored interfaces with related work on the structure of self-conscious thought and social cognition through talks given by Thomas Sattig and Dana Samson, respectively.

See the full programme here.