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Mind Chat

Mind Chat

By Mind Chat with Philip Goff and Keith Frankish
Philip Goff is a philosopher who thinks consciousness pervades the universe. Keith Frankish is a philosopher who thinks consciousness* doesn't even exist. From their very different perspectives, Keith and Philip interview leading scientists and philosophers of consciousness, engaging and debating in a friendly way in pursuit of truth. Mind Chat aims to be highly accessible, allowing those with no background in science and/or philosophy to get a grip on the cutting edge of the field.

(*To be more precise, Keith thinks *phenomenal* consciousness doesn't exist; listen to find out what this is.)
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Philip Goff: Is Physics Different in the Brain?

Mind Chat

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Noam Chomsky: Chomsky on Consciousness
Noam Chomsky is an intellectual giant, who has made major contributions to linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science. In this episode Keith and Philip explore Professor Chomsky's views on consciousness and the mind. Streamed live on Sep 15, 2022
01:12:42
September 25, 2022
Angela Mendelovici: How Does Consciousness Connect us to Reality? Part II
Angela Mendelovici (University of Western Ontorio) is a prominent proponent of the 'Phenomenal Intentionality Theory': the view that all mental representation is at least partly grounded in consciousness. This view contrasts with David Papineau's as to how consciousness connects us to reality, which we discussed in an earlier episode. Our main focus will be to explore the Phenomenal Intentionality Theory, but Angela also happens to be a panpsychist, so Philip is hoping this will finally be a guest that agrees with him more than Keith.   Streamed live on Jun 29, 2022  Angela's website https://publish.uwo.ca/~amendel5/
02:59:09
July 24, 2022
Ann-Sophie Barwich: Smellosophy--The Philosophy & Neuroscience of Smell
Ann-Sophie Barwich is a cognitive scientist and empirical philosopher, and author of 'Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind' (Harvard University Press). Ann-Sophie explores how the neuroscience of smell challenges philosophical assumptions about the nature of perception.   Streamed live on Jun 16, 2022 Ann-Sophie's website http://www.smellosophy.com/  Publisher's webpage for Smellosophy https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674983694
02:24:20
July 23, 2022
Philip Goff: Is Physics Different in the Brain?
In a special follow-up episode, Philip shares some personal reflections on the recent discussion 'What Does Physics Tell Us About Consciousness?' with Sean Carroll and Barry Loewer.
54:19
June 28, 2022
Sean Carroll and Barry Loewer: What Does Physics Tell Us About Consciousness?
We previously had a long chat with Sean Carroll. A big bone of contention with Philip and Sean was the degree to which physics constrains our theory of consciousness. We decided it would be good to explore this issue in its own right, with a bit of help from esteemed philosophy of physics Sean Carroll (Rutgers University). These are Sean's articles we discuss (the latter is a response to Philip's book 'Galileo's Error'): https://arxiv.org/abs/2101.07884 https://philpapers.org/rec/CARCAT-33. Recorded 6 May 2022.
02:09:47
June 28, 2022
Helen Steward: Do We Have Free Will?
Helen Steward is a philosopher and author of Metaphysics for Freedom (Oxford University Press), which argues that agency itself—and not merely the special, distinctively human variety of it—is incompatible with determinism. Keith and Philip Mind Chat with Helen about whether we have free will, and what that would entail about the ultimate nature of reality,
02:06:24
March 30, 2022
David Papineau: How Does Consciousness Connect Us To Reality?
Keith and Philip interview David Papineau (Professor of Philosophy at King's College London) about his recent book 'The Metaphysics of Sensory Experience'. David is also a materialist who believes in consciousness, so there'll probably be a big old fight about that too. Link to David's book: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-metaphysics-of-sensory-experience-9780198862390?cc=gb&lang=en&
02:58:43
March 19, 2022
David Chalmers: Are We Living in a Simulation?
David Chalmers is one of the most important and influential philosophers of consciousness on the contemporary scene. He coined the phrase 'the hard problem of consciousness', and defends 'naturalistic dualism' as an alternative to materialism. In his new book 'Reality+', aimed at a general audience, David explores the big questions of philosophy through the lens of virtual reality. He argues that we don't know whether or not we are in a computer simulation, but that even if we are, it doesn't follow that the physical world around is isn't real. It just means the ultimate nature of the physical world is computational!
02:49:09
February 25, 2022
Christmas Special: Panpsychism or Illusionism?
In the Mind Chat Christmas special, Keith and Philip take it in turns to interrogate each other about their favoured view of consciousness (illusionism and panpsychism, respectively), based in part on viewers' questions. The episode will culminate in a 15 min twitter poll, in which viewers will decide once and for all whether panpsychism or illusionism is the correct view of consciousness. 
02:47:56
December 16, 2021
Sean Carroll: Is Consciousness Emergent?
Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll joins us to discuss whether it make sense to think of consciousness as an emergent phenomenon, and whether contemporary physics points in this direction.   We discussed Sean's essay responding to Philip's book 'Galileo's Error,' and Philip's counter-response essay. Both are available here: https://conscienceandconsciousness.com/2021/08/01/19-essays-on-galileos-error/  We also discussed Philip's Scientific American article making the case that the move from the fine-tuning to the multiverse commits the 'inverse gambler's fallacy': https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/our-improbable-existence-is-no-evidence-for-a-multiverse/#:~:text=We%20exist%2C%20and%20we%20are,with%20the%20existence%20of%20life.   Finally, Keith and Philip discussed the PhilPapers 2020 survey of philosophers' opinions on philosophical questions, which is linked to from this blog post of Philip's: https://conscienceandconsciousness.com/2021/11/01/materialism-remains-the-majority-view-but-only-just/
03:14:41
November 15, 2021
Anil Seth: Is Consciousness a Controlled Hallucination?
Anil Seth is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex. In this episode we discuss his new book 'Being You: The New Science of Consciousness.' 
01:57:41
October 13, 2021
Helen Yetter-Chappell: Is Reality Made up of Consciousness?
Dr Helen Yetter-Chappell is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of Miami. Idealism is the view that the fundamental nature of reality is made up of mentality or consciousness. Inspired by the 18th century idealist philosophy George Berkeley, Helen has developed a version of Berkeley's idealism which dispenses with his commitment to the existence of God.  http://yetterchappell.net/Helen/
02:04:08
October 11, 2021
Matthias Michel: Is a Science of Consciousness Possible?
Matthias Michel is a philosopher whose work focuses on the science of consciousness. In a recent paper he outlines how scientists working on consciousness have been having the same debates for 150 years without reaching consensus. In this episode, we will explore why the science of consciousness is more challenging than other scientific endeavours and examine possible ways forward.
02:38:54
August 15, 2021
Christof Koch: The Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness
Christof Koch is a neuroscientist and proponent of the integrated information theory of consciousness, or 'IIT". In this episode we explore with Christof the science and philosophy of IIT.
01:35:49
July 20, 2021
Janet Levin: The Materialist Theory of Consciousness
Professor Janet Levin is a materialist about consciousness. She thinks our feelings and experiences are identical with physical processes in the brain. In this episode we will explore Janet's position and how she responds to arguments that try to show that consciousness alludes physical explanation.
01:42:27
June 03, 2021
Tim O'Connor: Interview with a Dualist
Tim O'Connor is a dualist: someone who thinks consciousness is not physical. People tend to think of dualists as believing in the soul, a supernatural entity distinct from the physical workings of the body and the brain. However, Tim's dualism is very different. He thinks consciousness resides in the brain, and is brought into existence by the physical particles that ultimately make up the brain. Nonetheless he rejects the idea that we can explain consciousness in terms of the kind of electro-chemical signalling of the brain. Instead, Tim is a Strong Emergentist: He thinks that particles have special powers to produce non-physical consciousness, powers that only kick in when the particles are arranged in the special combinations we find in brains. To put it another way: the brain as a whole is more than the sum of its parts. Tim's website: https://toconnor.org/ Tim's entry on ''Emergent Properties' for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/properties-emergent/ Video version of this episode: https://youtu.be/AlUsJRKqEVE
01:55:43
May 22, 2021