Riccardo Manzotti, Ph.D.

Riccardo Manzotti is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Institute of Human, Language and Environmental Sciences in Milan. He is devoted to the understanding of the nature of the conscious mind by 3 approaches: 1) creating artificial models of consciousness, 2) using art as a tool to probe the structure of the human mind and 3) by understanding the aesthetic experience. Riccardo Manzotti in his own words: " My main interest is understanding the nature of consciousness. I believe that to understand consciousness we need to change our fundamental categories. The road we had taken is passing through the technological land of robotics as well as the misty shadows of theoretical philosophical analysis. We hope we will not get lost along the journey. I believe that there is no more important quest than this one, for mind is the point of the universe where knowledge and being are the same. In order to to understand consciousness, we need to understand reality. To understand reality we need two steps: hypotheses and empirical verifications. The scientific tradition narrowed the field of empirical evidence at only the objective facts. In order to understand what consciousness is, a new ontological standpoint is needed and, in order to verify such ontological premises a new kind of experiments must be envisaged. To verify a theory of consciousness, empirical experiments are needed. Two possibilities are feasible. The first one is interfering with the conscious subjective experience of human beings. To design an experiment in which it is possible to predict and describe in advance a change in content in a subject's experience. The second option is to build an artificial being with a structure that can be related with the development of a true subject. This second approach is followed by implementing an architecture coherent with the new ontology."