Mind Video #8: What level consciousness?

Here’s a roundtable that gives an interesting high-level overview of a couple of points: First, Joseph Bogen, a neurologist, gives us possible levels at which the brain could produce consciousness: sub-cellular, cellular, circuit, systems, the whole brain, or brain interacting with larger systems (other brains). Second, we get a quick face-off at the end with […]

Partially Naked Self-Examination Music Blog, Week 26

At the half way point of this 2010 experiment, I’ve got something very special to post: my first ever intentional recording of a song, which was also my first experience playing with a band that I put together. It’s from spring ’86 and called “Venus on Earth.” I had some little music composition program on […]

Mind Video #7: V.S. Ramachandran

This video features a guy I’d not heard of before, Vilayanur S. Ramachandra, called “The Marco Polo of neuroscience,” though I prefer “the great gesticulator,” a title I just invented while watching this animated performance: Rama states the common conception of qualia (from Frank Jackson): we can know all of the neurological facts about color […]

Partially Naked Self-Examination Music Blog, Week 25

Today I present the crown jewel of my high school band years: The Spring ’89 version of “Run Away.” I’ve previously blogged about this song, which is pretty cheesy, but pleasurable, I think. This version owes a lot to the keyboard programming of the last couple of albums by The Cars (my favorite band at […]

Mind Video #6: Ned Block

Ned Block (or is it Bill Maher?) gives us a good statement of the fundamental problems of consciousness and talks about some of the most commonly cited neuroscientific findings and what they mean about consciousness, and specifically what he takes to be Dennett’s position that consciousness is an illusion: “The hard problem:” how is it […]

Mind Video #5: Daniel Dennett

Dan Dennett, who is not Santa Claus, has many clips on youtube, both as “new atheist” and as someone who wants to “deflate consciousness,” i.e. show to us through optical illusions and things that we don’t know as much of what’s going on in our minds as we think. Here he discusses the “Cartesian theater,” […]

Mind Video #4: Colin McGinn

Here’s a guy that Wes brought up to me as being a somewhat extreme case in terms of anti-scientism. Whereas Churchland approaches the problem of consciousness from a scientific perspective, Colin McGinn (who must be in the witness protection program based on how darkly this is filmed) is a proclaimed “mysterian,” saying that consciousness just […]

Mind Video #3: John Searle

Here’s John Searle, most famous for his Chinese room argument against the possibility of programming a mind on a computer and who reminds me most of a figure from my childhood growing up in the Chicago area, snarky Sun Times columnist Mike Royko. Here Searle gives us, in a mere minute and 20 seconds (the […]

Mind Video #2: Patricia Churchland

Here’s an eliminative materialist, Pat Churchland, from whom I get sort of a Miss Hathaway from the Beverly Hillbillies vibe. Keep a sharp eye for the key points where she is interrupted by Mr. Rogers music with pictures of traffic, and then later when she’s overlaid with blurry students on campus: Churchland here explains what […]

Mind Video #1: David Chalmers

We just recorded our discussion of the philosophy of mind last Sunday, though it’ll be a while before it gets all mixed and edited and posted. The discussion was very wide-ranging and covered a number of colorful personalities in not very much detail at all, so I’m going to post a series of videos to […]

Partially Naked Self-Examination Music Blog, Week 24

My computer no longer boots and is in the shop, which means I’m on my wife’s MacBook, which means it’s time for more camcorder youtube uploads! Here’s a version of “Love Is the Problem:” http://www.youtube.com/user/MLinsenmayer#p/a/u/0/e0LblloTUnc We (my band New People) recently played a very big show at Madison’s Brat Fest, on the “Quench Gum” stage, […]

Episode 20: Pragmatism – Peirce and James (Citizens Only)

C.S. Peirce

On Pragmatism (1907) by William James and “The Fixation of Belief” (1877) and “How to Make Our Ideas Clear” (1878) by Charles Sanders Peirce. Is truth a primitive relation between our representations and things objectively in the world, or is it an analyzable process by which propositions “prove their worth” by being useful in some way, like by fitting well with other portions of our experience or being delicious?

End Song: “Friend” by Mark Lint and the Fake Johnson Trio (1998)

Partially Naked Self-Examination Music Blog, Week 23

Warning: foul language, juvenile humor, possible misogyny, and terrible sound quality. The song is called “Girl,” and it is from fall, 1989, just a couple months into my college experience, recorded in the excruciatingly awful sounding method of tape-to-tape dubbing, which is what I used from 1987 or so through spring 1991. This was my […]

Danto Sitting Around With Some Chick

For the second entry in the New York Times’s series of online philosophy discussions, our friend Arthur Danto has posted an article about the MoMA’s ongoing display of veteran performance artist Marina Abramovic. It describes this odd piece of performance art, wherein Marina sits on a chair in the museum with an empty chair across […]