Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Get Beeped and Argue about it with Hurlburt and Schwitzgebel

at the biennial Toward a Science of Consciousness conference in Tucson.

We're running a four-hour pre-conference workshop from 9 am to 1 pm on April 12. Official description:

Psychologist Russell Hurlburt is known for his innovative methods of exploring inner experience. Philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel is known for his skepticism about such methods. Hurlburt and Schwitzgebel will team up (perhaps “square off” would be a better term) and interview participants in the workshop audience about the details of their inner experience. That interview will follow Hurlburt’s Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES) method: While Hurlburt and Schwitzgebel give presentations outlining their views, a random timer will be set for a beep to sound. When the beep sounds, participants are to reflect on their last undisturbed moment of inner experience just before the beep. A random member of the audience will then be selected to describe her experience, and Hurlburt, Schwitzgebel, and the tutorial attendees will question her about the beep, using a variation of what Hurlburt calls an “expositional interview”. During these interviews, we (all tutorial participants) will conduct “sidebar” discussions about: what are the characteristics of good and bad questions; how believable are the subjects’ reports; to what extent do we “lead the witness”; etc.
Russ and I have done this several times before, and it's always a kick. I expect a small group (five to ten), so it should be a good opportunity for multi-directional interaction. Plus, it would be cool to meet you.

Register here.

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