Institut Jean Nicod

Home > Seminars/Conferences > Jean Nicod Prize > Recipients of the Jean Nicod Prize since 1993 > D. CHALMERS (2015) > Jean-Nicod Prize & Lectures 2015


Jean-Nicod Prize & Lectures 2015


David CHALMERS (New York University)

Site web




Program - Brochure - Poster

Friday 19th June 2015 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
New York University Paris, Auditorium
57, boulevard Saint-Germain 75005 Paris.

Spatial Illusions: From Mirrors to Virtual Reality [Vidéo]

Do virtual reality devices produce the illusion of an external reality? Or do they produce non-illusory experiences of a virtual reality? I address this question by starting with an analogous question about mirrors. When one looks in a mirror, does one undergo the illusion that there is someone on the other side of the mirror, or does one have a non-illusory experience of someone on this side of the mirror?  I will argue that at least for familiar users of mirrors, there is no illusion.  Knowledge of mirrors provides a sort of cognitive orientation (a variety of cognitive penetration) that affects the content of visual experience and renders it non-illusory. I will suggest that familiar users of virtual reality devices have a similar sort of cognitive orientation that renders their experience non-illusory.

David Chalmers will be awarded the Jean-Nicod Prize after the lecture.

Tuesday 23rd June 2015 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
École normale supérieure, Salle Jean Jaurès
29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris.

Three Puzzles About Spatial Experience [Vidéo]

Is it possible that you have undergone a lifelong spatial illusion such that everything that seems to be on your left is actually on your right? Such that everything in the world is twice as big as it seems to be? Such that everything that seems square is actually an extended rectangle? I will argue that these lifelong illusions concerning orientation, size, and shape are impossible, and will use this to argue for a functionalist view of the content of spatial experience. I will use this analysis to shed light on puzzles about skepticismconcerning the external world.


Thursday 25th June 2015 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
École normale supérieure, Salle Jean Jaurès
29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris.

Finding Space in a Nonspatial World. [Vidéo]

What is the relation between space in the manifest image of perceptual experience and in the scientific image of physics?  I will argue that as in the case of color, we have undergone a "fall from Eden" so that primitive space, as presented in experience, does not exist in the world of physics. But I will argue that we can find space there all the same by adopting a sort of spatial functionalism, on which space is identified as what plays a certain role. I will investigate different forms of spatial functionalism, on which the relevant roles are experiential (involving effects on our experience) and non-experiential (involving patterns of causal interactions).  I conclude with a discussion of finding space in virtual reality.

Tuesday 30th June 2015 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
École normale supérieure, Salle Jean Jaurès
29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris.

Structuralism about Computation, about Space, and about Reality. [Vidéo]

Structuralist views analyze a phenomena in terms of underlying structure. An important form of structuralism is causal structuralism, analyzing phenomena in terms of patterns of causal interaction.  I have argued for a structuralist view of computation, on which what it is for a physical system to implement a computation is for it to have relevant patterns of causal structure. The considerations in the previous lectures also support a structuralist view of space and of many aspects of reality.  In this lecture I elaborate this structuralism and use it to defend a view on which virtual reality is not second-class reality. I also make the case that structuralism can play a role analogous to that previously played by phenomenalism or idealism in making a case against global external-world skepticism.

Saturday 27 June : Workshop - David Chalmers Institut Jean-Nicod, Pavillon Jardin, ENS, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris. Salle de réunion.


Chalmers, D.J. Constructing the World.  Oxford University Press, 2012.

Chalmers, D.J. Verbal Disputes. Philosophical Review, 120: 515-66, 2011.

Chalmers, D.J. Propositions and Attitude Ascriptions: A Fregean Account. Nous, 45: 595-639, 2011.

Chalmers, D.J. The Foundations of Two-Dimensional Semantics.  In M. Garcia-Carpintero & J. Macia (eds) Two-Dimensional Semantics: Foundations and Applications.  Oxford University Press, 2006.

Chalmers, D.J. How Can We Construct a Science of Consciousness? In M. Gazzaniga (ed.) The Cognitive Neurosciences III. MIT Press, 2004.

Chalmers, D.J. & Jackson, F. Conceptual Analysis and Reductive Explanation. Philosophical Review, 110: 315-61, 2001.

Chalmers, D.J. What is a Neural Correlate of Consciousness? In T. Metzinger, (ed.) Neural Correlates of Consciousness: Empirical and Conceptual Issues. MIT Press, 2000.

Clark, A., & Chalmers, D.J. The Extended Mind. Analysis, 58: 10-23, 1998.

Chalmers, D.J. The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory. Oxford University Press, 1996.

Chalmers, D. J. Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2(3): 200-19, 1995.


Centre national de la recherche scientifique,
Fondation Meyer pour le développement culturel et artistique,
École normale supérieure,
40e anniversaire de l'École des hautes études en sciences Sociales.