The mind-body problem in philosophy, medicine and biology:
Mind the gut microbiota, neuroimmune and neuroendocrine interactions
Remember the last time you bumped your toe against a wall causing excruciating pain or when your willpower drove you to run farther even though you were dead tired. These examples appeal to what philosophers have called the mind-body problem. One typically runs into the mind–body problem when one attempts to relate mental events, including sensations, perceptions, emotions and thoughts, to states and processes of physical bodies and is due, at least in part, to the fact that different properties are ascribed to the mental and physical. Although the mind-body problem has its origins in philosophy, several medical and scientific fields, for example psychosomatic medicine and cognitive science, have, to a variable extent, dealt with the mind–body problem. Moreover, for any philosopher interested in the mind-body problem, disciplines as different as psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, physiology, chemistry and physics are potentially relevant. Conversely, for physicians and scientists working in psychiatry, psychology or neuroscience, taking into consideration the mind-body problem and the implications of some of the proposed solutions may change the way they envision and operate in their disciplines.
The aim of the present workshop is to encourage philosophers, physicians and scientists to interact and to gently take everyone out of their comfort zone. In particular, we would like 1) to encourage physicians and scientists to consider the implications of some of the positions relative to the mindbody problem, such as reductionism or functionalism and 2) to invite philosophers to address other aspects of the mind-body problem than those most typically considered, such as voluntary movement of body parts or conscious experiences provoked by stimulation of sense organs. Thus, the workshop will be focused on fields trying to relate mental states to changes in neuroendocrine and neuroimmune interactions as well as, more recently, to modifications of gut microbiota.
Université de Bordeaux
35 place Pey Berland
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