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Neurodiversity: a conceptual engineering perspective | Online talk

Age suitable for: 14+

Date and Time (UK time):
12/03/2024 15:30-17:30



According to the neurodiversity paradigm, neurodevelopmental conditions like autism and ADHD are not best understood as disorders but rather as different forms of mental organization that should be allowed to flourish. This talk by Dr Kurt Sylvan (Philosophy) explores the neurodiversity paradigm with the help of tools from philosophy, and in particular through a philosophical activity called 'conceptual engineering'. One kind of conceptual engineering involves inventing new concepts that provide a better understanding of some phenomenon than the concepts that are conventionally used to understand it. Although neurodiversity advocates do not officially describe themselves as conceptual engineers, this workshop shows that some of their most important ideas involve conceptual engineering of this kind.

This talk is related to a workshop on Science and Engineering Day, but it has a narrower focus and can be attended independently. It will consider some successful examples of conceptual engineering by autistic researchers and neurodiversity advocates outside of philosophy. It will reflect on what makes these examples work, to bring out some models that could be applied beyond autism. The aim is to explore the scope and limits of conceptual engineering as a tool for understanding neurodivergence alongside the sciences of mind and brain.

PLEASE NOTE: This event will take place online, in Blackboard Collaborate. You will receive joining instructions in the event reminders, starting with the 48-hour reminder.