Donald Hoffman - Prof. of Cognitive Sciences, UC Irvine - Author of “The case against reality”


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Donald D. Hoffman is a Professor of Cognitive Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of The case against reality: Why evolution hid the truth from our eyes. His research on perception, evolution, and consciousness received the Troland Award of the US National Academy of Sciences, the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution of the American Psychological Association, the Rustum Roy Award of the Chopra Foundation, and is the subject of his TED Talk, titled “Do we see reality as it is?”

"For the 30 years, maybe 40 years for some, the dominant view of many cognoscientists, is that consciousness is something that brains create. So most of the processes in our brains are proceeding without any conscious content, so that they're unconscious processes, but a small amount of our brain processes are somehow experiences.

And the standard view is that it's a fairly recent, late evolutionary process that led to the experience of conscious experiences in humans and other animals, and perhaps other creatures more generally. My view is different. I think that the standard view that consciousness is a product of brains isn't correct because I think that our best physical theories tell us that space and time are not fundamental. Spacetime is doomed. So that's on the physics side. Physicists are saying that spacetime is not fundamental for very principled reasons, falling out of Einstein's theory of gravity and quantum field theory.”

The Case Against Reality

285 episodes