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Varieties of Mind Conference

5 June 2018 - 8 June 2018

Varieties of Mind Conference 

Convenors: Marta Halina, Henry Shevlin, and Karina Vold 

The Cambridge Union Society, 9A Bridge St, Cambridge CB2 1UB

Download Conference Programme

The study of artificial intelligence has frequently benefitted from close engagement with other branches of cognitive science, and computational theories of cognition have in turn contributed to models of the mind in philosophy, neuroscience, and animal cognition. However, even as we stand at the threshold of a new era of developments in artificial intelligence, disciplinary differences and disparate theoretical vocabularies still linger, and the goal of a unifying theory of human, animal, and artificial minds remains elusive. To that end, the Varieties of Mind conference aims to bring together leading researchers in psychology, animal cognition, artificial intelligence, and philosophy of mind to explore questions including the following.

  • Which evolutionary adaptations marked the emergence of true minds?
  • How should we assess intelligence in non-human systems?
  • Could consciousness exist in minds radically different from our own?
  • What cognitive processes underpin moral notions like sentience and agency?
  • How do thought, concepts, and language relate to sensorimotor capacities? 

Keynote speakers

Professor Margaret Boden (Cognitive Science, University of Sussex)

Professor Nicola S. Clayton (Comparative Cognition, University of Cambridge)

Professor Susan Schneider (Philosophy and Cognitive Science, University of Connecticut)

Professor Murray Shanahan (Cognitive Robotics, Imperial College; Senior Research Scientist, DeepMind)

Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith (History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney) 


Professor Jonathan Birch (Philosophy of biological science)

Dr Colin Klein (Philosophy of mind)

Dr Henry Shevlin (Philosophy of cognitive science)

Professor Mike Dacey (Philosophy of psychology)

Dr Joulia Smortchkova (Philosophy of mind)

Professor Eric Mandelbaum (Philosophy of psychology)

Dr Ryota Kanai (Cognitive science)

Dr Karina Vold (Philosophy of mind)

Dr Matthew Liao (Bioethics)

Dr Claudia Passos-Ferreira (Philosophy)

Dr Joanna Bryson (Computer Science)

Dr Ron Chrisley (Philosophy of computation)

Professor Sabine Hauert (Robotics, Bristol)

Professor José Hernández-Orallo (Information Systems)

Professor Yasuo Kuniyoshi (Information Science)

Professor Dr Bjorn Brembs (Zoology)

Professor Lars Chittka (Biological Sciences)

Professor Dr Fred Keijzer (Philosophy of cognitive science)


Please note that purchasing full conference tickets includes Public Lecture 1, Public Lecture 2, Debate 1 and Debate 2. There is no need to sign up to the other events.

FULL Varieties of Mind Conference: 5 – 8 June, 2018 (SOLD OUT)

To be added to the waiting list, please contact Gaenor Moore.

Varieties of Mind: Public Lecture 1 (Tuesday 5 June, 17:30)   Inaugural Margaret Boden Lecture with Professor Margaret Boden

Varieties of Mind: Public Lecture 2 (Friday 8 June, 17:30) Professor Peter Godfrey Smith

Varieties of Mind: Debate 1 (Wednesday 6 June, 17:30) This House believes we cannot understand non-human minds

Varieties of Mind: Debate 2 (Thursday 7 June, 17:30) This House believes there is nothing special about human intelligence

VoM Programme