We are a University of London group aimed at fostering intercollegiate research in the Philosophy of Mind. We host talks and read-ahead discussions where postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty can share their work.

In the Spring of 2021 our meetings will be held online and will be open to any current graduate/postgraduate students, postdoctoral students, and faculty members across the globe. To keep numbers reasonable, it is an expectation of participation that one has read the paper in advance.

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Upcoming Talks

 

8 February 2021: 4-5pm

'Belief as Practical Certainty'

15 February 2021: 4-5pm

'The Partiality of a Point of View'

Daniel Vanello (Warwick)

1 March 2021: 4-5pm

TBA

Jessica Wilson (Toronto)

15 March 2021: 4-5pm

'Identity and Relative Fundamentality'

Our Past Events

 

Kathrine Cuccuru (Sussex)

7 December 2020: 4-5pm

"A Dinner Reservation for 12" John Wick and Predictive Processing

Abstract: 
When John Wick utters down the phone “I’d like to make a dinner reservation for 12” it transpires that he is requesting the disposal 12 dead bodies. Following the well-established action film trope, the audience can reliably guess that Wick will survive this unsurvivable hit on his life. The excitement, the action of the film, is instead driven by the audiences’ anticipation of just how he will survive the unsurvivable. I suggest that the satisfying thrill of the action in John Wick can be best explained in terms of predictive processing (PP). My basic claim is that the viewing audience’s primary mode of prediction is anticipatory, that is, the conscious guessing of what will happen next, how will Wick survive? However, in that mode, the audience is attempting to track the non-conscious probabilistic guessing of the portrayed characters and action. It is the reliable guess that gives the audience the expectation that John Wick is highly likely to out-guess, as it turns out near perfectly so, a 12 person hit-squad, yet at the same time the audience cannot reliably guess how. I argue that the audience is aesthetically satisfied when these layers of prediction are pleasingly balanced and resolved.

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Location

Senate House, University of London, Malet St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HU, UK

 
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