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What Is Consciousness?

June 11, 2020 - June 17, 2020

Consciousness is the primary and most immediate experience we all have. Before knowing our name or who we are, before being able to recognize any specific experience we are undergoing, the immediate realization that “I am” is always there.

Yet this fundamental first person experience sits uneasily within the context of our scientific third person description of the world. No doubt consciousness has somehow to do with the brain, since physical or chemical changes in the brain affect the contents of consciousness. But the contents of consciousness, e.g. the experience of the color red, are qualitatively different from and irreducible to patterns of excitation in the brain. This irreducible difference has been dubbed “the hard problem of consciousness.”

The problem is much deeper than mere neurophysiology. It involves the sense we have of ourselves and our destiny, the issue of life after death and the distinction between animate and inanimate. What are the boundaries (if any) of counsciousness? Is consciousness everywhere (as mystical traditions teach) or nowhere (as materialists claim)?

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Details

Start:
June 11, 2020
End:
June 17, 2020

Venue

Pari

Registration

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