William & Mary

The Study of the Human Self

The Second Biennial William and Mary Colloquium in Philosophy was held September 25 - 26, 2008.Wren

At  this interdisciplinary conference, panelists and participants addressed the following questions:

  • What kind of agent are we?
  • What are we actually like as deliberators, choosers, and actors?
  • And what are the methods of inquiry most likely to help us discover the truth about our capacities as agents?

Complete Listing of Conference Schedule (pdf)

Roy BaumeisterBaumeister

Department of Psychology, Florida State University. Roy’s most recent book is The Cultural Animal: Human Nature, Meaning, and Social Life (2005), published by Oxford University Press. He is co-editor of Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will (2008), also by OUP (http://www.psy.fsu.edu/faculty/baumeist.dp.html


Patricia ChurchlandChurchland

Department of Philosophy, University of California San Diego. Patricia’s most recent book is Brain-Wise: Studies in Neurophilosophy (2002), published by MIT Press. (http://philosophy.ucsd.edu/faculty/pschurchland/)


Paul Sheldon DaviesDavies

Department of Philosophy, College of William and Mary. Paul’s most recent book is Subjects of the World: Darwin’s Rhetoric and the Study of Agency in Nature (2009), published by the University of Chicago Press.


Tamar Szabo GendlerGendler

Department of Philosophy and Chair of Cognitive Science Program, Yale University. Tamar’s most recent articles include “Alief and Belief” (2008) in Journal of Philosophy and “Self-Deception as Pretense” (2008) in Philosophical Perspectives: Mind. She is co-editor of Conceivability and Possibility (2002), published by Oxford University Press. (http://pantheon.yale.edu/~tgendler/)


Todd HeathertonHeatherton

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College. Todd is co-editor (with Roy Baumeister) of Losing control: How and why people fail at self-regulation, (1994), San Diego: Academic Press. He is also co-editor of The Psychological Science: Mind, Brain, and Behavior, (2003), published by W.W. Norton. (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~heath/)


Robert KaneKane

Department of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin. Robert is author of The Significance of Free Will (1996), published by Oxford University Press. Most recently he is editor of A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will (2005), Oxford University Press. (http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rkane/)


Alfred MeleMele

Department of Philosophy, Florida State University. Al’s most recent book is Free Will and Luck (2006), published by Oxford University Press. (http://www.fsu.edu/~philo/people/faculty/almele.html)


Jaak PankseppPanksepp

College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University. Jaak’s most recent edited book is the Textbook of Biological Psychiatry (Wiley, 2004). He is author of Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotion (1998), Oxford University Press. (http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-vcapp/people/Panksepp-endowed.asp)


Esther SternbergSternberg

National Institute of Health, Neuroendocrine Immunology and Behavior Section. Esther is author of The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions (2000), W.H. Freeman and Co.: paperback (2001), Holt (translated into Dutch, Chinese, Japanese). (http://www.esthersternberg.com)


Daniel WegnerWegner

Department of Psychology, Harvard University. Dan’s most recent book is The Illusion of Conscious Will (2002), published by MIT Press. (http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~wegner/)


This conference is made possible by

Funds from the Rachel & E.W. Thompson Philosophy Endowment; Forades Philosophy Department Speaker’s Series Endowment; and W&M Arts & Sciences, Office of the Dean.

Riverside Regional Medical Center's Department of Medical Education is the CME sponsor for this conference.

Riverside Regional Medical Center is accredited by the Medical Society of Virginia to provide continuing Medical Education for Physicians. The target audience for CME credit is neurologists, psychiatrists, and other interested healthcare providers. Riverside Regional Medical Center designates this educational activity for a maximum of 11.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.