Featured film

Why things feel the way they do? J. Kevin O’Regan

Why things feel the way they do: the sensorimotor approach to understanding phenomenal consciousness, J. Kevin O’Regan (Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Université Paris Descartes, France)

Why does red not look green? Why does it not sound like a bell? Why does pain hurt rather than just provoking pain behavior and avoidance reactions? These are the questions of “qualia” or “phenomenal consciousness”, which the philosophers consider to be a “hard” problem.

The sensorimotor approach provides a way to make the hard problem easy. It suggests that we have been thinking about phenomenal consciousness the wrong way. Instead of thinking of it as being something that is generated by the brain, we should think about it as being a way of interacting with the world. Taking this stance provides simple explanations of why sensations are the way they are, and why there is “something it’s like” to have a sensation. Taking this stance also makes interesting scientific predictions and opens new experimental paradigms which I shall describe in change blindness, color psychophysics, sensory substitution, the rubber hand illusion and spatial cognition.

The talk is a précis of the book: J.K. O’Regan, “Why red doesn’t sound like a bell: Understanding the feel of consciousness”, OUP, 2011.

Featured essay

Michael Heller - Logic of Creation

Enjoy reading!


Featured debate

Soul in the Mirror - Michael A. Arbib, Bipin Indurkhya, panel discussion

Panel discussion: "Soul in the Mirror", Michael A. Arbib, Bipin Indurkhya
Moderator: Bartosz Brożek
May 8, 2014, National Museum in Kraków


A Seminar on the History of Astronomy (and the Surrounding Field)

Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Research 

The L. & A. Birkenmajer PAN Institute for the History of Science

warmly invite you to



  8 October 2012 Warsaw

The PAN Institute for the History of Science, Nowy Świat 72 (Pałac Staszica), Room 19c


11.00–11.10 Prof. Jarosław Włodarczyk, Introductory remarks

11.10–11.30 Dr Maria Otto, The Gdańsk correspondents of Johannes Hevelius

11.40–12.00 Maciej Jasiński, The peripatetic cosmological views in the Selenographia of Johannes Hevelius

12.10–12.30 Dr Jarosław Wawrzycki, Multiplication in the Principia of Isaac Newton 

12.40–13.10 Coffee break 

13.10–13.30 Magda Siuda, Jan Jędrzejewicz’s observatory against the backdrop of other Polish observatories

13.40–14.00 Magdalena Pilska-Piotrowska, Polish astronomical charts in the 18th and 19th centuries compared with Western Europe