Summerschool Neurophilosophy: Self, Science and Society

RU-thumbnailThe Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and Radboud University Nijmegen invite PhD students/ ReMa students in philosophy to register for the summerschool “Neurophilosophy: Self, Science and Society” to take place August 10-14, 2015.

Organizing university

Radboud University Nijmegen


August 10-14, 2015



Type of activity

summer school

Type of activity

2 EC

Primary target group

PhD students, ReMa students

Application/registration deadline

The early bird application deadline is April 1st, 2015.
Regular application deadline is June 15th, 2015.

About the topic

Neurophilosophy is a relatively young and thriving field of interdisciplinary research, which explores the relevance of recent developments in neuroscience for traditional philosophical questions about human nature. At the same time, it seeks to clarify the methods and results of neuroscience using the conceptual rigor and methods of philosophy. This summer course focuses on four central topics in neurophilosophy:

  1. Cognitive Enhancement: Implications for Self and Personal Identity
    Neuroscience increasingly allows us to manipulate and alter brain processes. This form of cognitive enhancement holds great promise, but also raises philosophical questions and ethical challenges. Pim Haselager (cognitive neuroscience) discusses the use of brain stimulation techniques in clinical practice and the court of law. Leon de Bruin (philosophy) focuses on the implications of cognitive enhancement for our common sense notion of self and personal identity.
  2. Levels of Explanation and Folk Psychological Concepts in Neuroscience
    Cognitive neuroscience often makes claims about the mind that contradict common sense psychological vocabulary. Jolien Francken (neuroscience) will demonstrate this contradiction. Marc Slors (philosophy) will then discuss various solutions to the mind-body problem and argue that only positions that abandon a thorough going mental realism can deal with the situation. Iris van Rooij (cognitive science) discusses the problematic nature of the very notion of ‘explanation’ in cognitive science. Finally, Jeroen Geurts (neuroscience) responds to these lectures from the viewpoint of clinical neuroscientific studies.
  3. Phenomenological Perspectives on the Self
    Phenomenology and neuroscience influence each other in different ways. Julian Kiverstein (philosophy) elaborates on how phenomenological insights into the experience of self are borne out by neuroscience. Sanneke de Haan (psychiatry) and Erik Rietveld (philosophy) show how phenomenological analyses of the perception of our environments can be used to analyse changes in experience induced by deep brain stimulation. Finally, Marc Lewis (neuroscience) will explain how neuroscience helps to understand the phenomenology of addictive craving.
  4. Psychiatry and Mental Disorder
    Developments in neuroscience can help to further our understanding of mental disorders, but also raise the question to what extent mental disorders can be explained in terms of neurobiological processes. Derek Strijbos (psychiatry, philosophy) deals with the implications of these developments on our understanding of mental disorders, focussing on conceptual questions about causation and levels of explanation. Gerrit Glas (psychiatry, philosophy) discusses the impact of neuroscience on the psychiatric concept of the self. Finally, Sanneke de Haan (psychiatry) investigates the tension between neuroscientific and experiential aspects of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

After the course you will give a presentation on one of the topics of the course and write a two page rapport on the relevance of the course for your own work or studies.

Aim / objective

After this course you will be able to ask philosophical questions about the implications of recent neuro-scientific developments, in particular in connection with the topics of the course.


Intellectual program:


Social Program:

The Radboud Summer School is not just about learning new things, it’s also about meeting new people, doing new things. Therefore, we organise a special social programme (free of charge) where participants from all corners of the world and from all different disciplines can meet and have a great time. Included are: a cruise down the river on the pancake boat, a barbecue, and a pub crawl in town


  • Leon de Bruin
  • Pim Haselager (cognitive neuroscience)
  • Jolien Francken (neuroscience)
  • Marc Slors (philosophy)
  • Iris van Rooij (cognitive science)
  • Jeroen Geurts (neuroscience)
  • Julian Kiverstein (philosophy)
  • Sanneke de Haan (psychiatry)
  • Erik Rietveld (philosophy)
  • Marc Lewis (neuroscience)
  • Derek Strijbos (psychiatry, philosophy)
  • Gerrit Glas (psychiatry, philosophy)

Certificate / credit points

2 EC


€400 Master’s students and PhD candidates
€600 other participants
The course fee includes the registration fee, course materials, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, lunch, and a number of social activities. The fee does not include accommodation, travel costs, dinner, insurance and other costs.

ReMa and PhD student members of the OZSW can receive an extra discount of 50 euro (please specify whether you are ReMa or PhD student member of the OZSW in your motivation letter).

Registration/application form

Application deadline in June 15th, 2015.
Register online for the event.


Dr. Leon de Bruin
Ass. Professor Philosphy of Mind and Language
Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies
Radboud University Nijmegen

Contact info

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