In this episode of the Making Sense podcast Sam and Annaka Harris speak with Donald Hoffman about his book The Case Against Reality. They discuss how evolution has failed to select for true perceptions of the world, his “interface theory” of perception, the primacy of math and logic, how space and time cannot be fundamental, the threat of epistemological skepticism, causality as a useful fiction, the hard problem of consciousness, agency, free will, panpsychism, a mathematics of conscious agents, philosophical idealism, death, psychedelics, the relationship between consciousness and mathematics, and many other topics.
This is the first half of the full interview. You can listen to the second half by subscribing to Sam Harris's podcast.
Donald Hoffman is a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of more than 90 scientific papers and his writing has appeared in Scientific American, Edge.org, The Atlantic, WIRED, and Quanta. In 2015, he gave a mind-bending TED Talk titled, “Do we see reality as it is?”
Annaka Harris is the New York Times bestselling author of CONSCIOUS: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind. She is an editor and consultant for science writers, specializing in neuroscience and physics, and her work has appeared in The New York Times. Annaka is the author of the children’s book I Wonder, a collaborator on the Mindful Games Activity Cards, by Susan Kaiser Greenland, and a volunteer mindfulness teacher for the Inner Kids organization. All of her guided meditations and lessons for children are available on the Waking Up app.
What science and my unusual brain are teaching us about the convergence of reality, love, and the senses
We are aware of thinking and acting, and we typically think this is what neurons and brains are for.
If the conscious mind—the part you consider you—accounts for only a fraction of the brain's function, what is all the rest doing?
Sam Harris speaks with Iain McGilchrist about the differences between the right and left hemispheres.
We explore the idea that perceptual experiences do not approximate properties of an “objective” world
A new type of experiment could get us closer to grasping human consciousness.
The ancient Greeks dove into this question. But what do modern scientists think?
Philosophers and mystics have long contemplated the disconcerting notion that the fixed self is an illusion.
Tina looks at the developing embryo through the eyes of Dr Jaap van der Wal
Daniel Siegel answers questions from the audience at SAND18 US.
Please enter your email and we’ll send you instructions to reset your password