and Unconscious
and Differences

About the conference

The aim of this two-day international conference is to explore the nature of unconscious processes in perception and cognition, and their relation to consciousness. We are especially interested in what the commonalities and the differences between conscious and unconscious mental states are with respect to their content and other aspects.

The questions we intend to address at the conference include:

  • What are the principal differences between conscious and unconscious processes? In what sense can they be said to constitute the same fundamental kind?
  • What is the nature of unconscious mentality? In what sense can it be said to have a representational or even qualitative nature?
  • Are contents in different sensory modalities made conscious by different neural mechanisms?
  • To what extent can we use behavioral evidence to determine the commonalities or differences between corresponding conscious and unconscious mental states?
  • What are the typical properties of cognitive and emotional unconscious states?
  • Can subjective and objective criteria for the detection of unconscious processes be successfully aligned, and are they sufficient to determine the content of these processes?
  • Is gradualism a part of the solution of the transition from unconscious to conscious perception? Or do we need to draw a sharp dividing line between conscious and unconscious contents?
  • To what extent does explaining how mental states become conscious need to invoke psychological notions and categories alongside the neuroscientific ones?

Keynote speakers

Kathleen Akins

Simon Frazer University

Berit Brogaard

University of Miami

David Rosenthal

City University of New York


Registration is free. Anyone interested in attending the conference is invited to fill out the registration form here.

Capacities are limited and the number of seats may be subject to current COVID-19 measures.

Important dates

Deadline for abstract submissions: 15 January, 2022

Notification of acceptance: 15 February, 2022

Registration opens: 15 February, 2022

Deadline for registration: 15 May, 2022

Dates of the conference: 30 June–1 July, 2022

Deadline for the submission of full papers for the edited volume: 30 September, 2022

The conference will be held on site.


Thursday, June 30

9:30–10:50 Keynote 1 – Berit Brogaard (University of Miami) and Thomas Alrik Sørensen (Aalborg University), Precision, Attentional Gain, and Degrees of Consciousness

Coffee break

11:10–11:50 Azenet Lopez (Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich), If Attention is Graded, Can Consciousness Be All-or-Nothing?
11:50–12:30 Assaf Weksler and Benjamin Henke (University of Haifa), Attention Capture and Conscious Experience. The Case of Perspectival Shape


14:00–14:40 Matthias Michel (NYU), The Old and New Criterion Problems

14:40–15:20 Sascha Benjamin Fink and Lukas Kob (University of Magdeburg), Neurophenomenal Structuralism and the Unconscious/Conscious Distinction
15:20–16:00 Paweł Zięba (University of Cracow), Can Unconscious Perception Guide Action?

Coffee break

16:30–17:50 Keynote 2 Kathleen Akins (Simon Frazer University), Concepts First, ‘Qualia’ Later (pre-recorded talk)

18:00 Conference buffet (Grand Café Orient)

Friday, July 1

9:30–10:10 Sam Coleman (University of Herdfordshire), Emotions, (Un)Consciousness, and Mental Qualities: Some Surprisingly Self-Defeating Feeling Theories of Emotions, and How to Construct a Better Feeling Theory
10:10–10:50 Michal Polák (University of West Bohemia), Conscious and Unconscious Phenomenality: Changes in Conceptual Relations between Phenomenality, What It Is Likeness, and Consciousness

Coffee break

11:10–11:50 Tomáš Marvan (Czech Academy of Sciences), The Brain-Based Argument for Unconscious Qualities
11:50–12:30 Juraj Hvorecký (Czech Academy of Sciences), Troubles with the Orthogonality Thesis


14:00–15:20 Keynote 3 – David Rosenthal (CUNY), The Science of Mental Qualities (online)
15:20–16:00 Brice Bantegnie (Czech Academy of Sciences), How to be a Higher-Order Theorist and a Skeptic about Unconscious Perception

Coffee break

16:20–17:00 Alberto Voltolini (University of Turin), Unconscious Intentional yet Non-Mental States

Practical information

The conference will take place at the Baroque Refectory of the Dominican Monastery in Prague.

Baroque Refectory
Jilská 5
110 00 Praha 1
Czech Republic


Participants organise the accommodation themselves. There are plenty of accommodation opportunities in the vicinity of the conference venue.


By plane

Václav Havel Airport Prague

Public transport options from the airport, both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2

  • Bus 119 from the airport to Nádraží Veleslavín metro station, line A (green line), take the metro and continue to Staroměstská station. From there the conference venue is approx. a 10 minute walk.
  • Bus 100 from the airport to Zličín metro station, line B (yellow line), take the metro and continue to Národní třída station. From there the conference venue is approx. a 5 minute walk.

Taxi companies operating from the airport are available at:

By train

Take the tram number 9 from Hlavní nádraží to Národní třída (around a 5 minute walk to the conference centre).

Public transportation in Prague

Public transport info on:

Local organizing team

Tomáš Marvan

Czech Academy of Sciences,
Institute of Philosophy

Michal Polák

University of West Bohemia,
Department of Philosophy

Juraj Hvorecký

Czech Academy of Sciences,
Institute of Philosophy

Brice Bantegnie

Czech Academy of Sciences,
Institute of Philosophy


All inquiries should be addressed to

Tomáš Marvan


This conference has been financially supported by the Czech Science Agency (GAČR) project n. 20-14445S “Dual Models of Phenomenal Consciousness”.