Posts tagged with ‘philosophy

TED talk of the day: The Illusion of Consciousness

Philosopher Dan Dennett makes a compelling argument that not only don’t we understand our own consciousness, but that half the time our brains are actively fooling us.

MIT physicist says consciousness may be a state of matter

Even as much as we know in the 21st century about the universe, the human body and the world around us, consciousness remains a tricky, tricky thing to pin down. Things that have consciousness can store information, retrieve it effectively and use that information on the fly as the situation demands it, but computers can do that, but computers are a long, long way from having any kind of consciousness. So what is consciousness? MIT’s Max Tegmark believes that consciousness may be a “state of matter” of sorts, one that fluctuates rapidly between all kinds of phase states based on certain mathematical criteria.

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Science is getting down to the serious business of how consciousness works

Why consciousness exists, how it works and what its range is has been one of humanity’s major questions since we first emerged from lesser apes hundreds of thousands of years ago. It’s been the realm of philosophers and poets mainly, but now neuroscience may actually be able to tackle the question.

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Are humans good or evil by nature? Science finds out.

For nearly all of human existence, people have debated whether we’re inherently good, corrupted by society and peers or whether we’re inherently bad, with society and law keeping our evil urges in check. With the help of babies, science might have discovered the answer to this age old question.

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Way over thinking it: My Little Pony vs. Plato’s Republic

You may think at first that My Little Pony has very little in common with the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, but apparently you’d be wrong. It’s actually a brightly colored allegory that well represents the ideals put forth in Plato’s ‘Republic’.

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Neil DeGrasse Tyson takes on the question “Does the Universe Have a Purpose?”

Neil deGrasse Tyson was asked by the Templeton Foundation to answer the question “Does the Universe Have a Purpose?”.

How to tell if our universe is just a gigantic computer simulation

It’s a question that’s been posed by thinkers and armchair philosophers for decades: “How do we know that our universe isn’t just a massive simulation of an incomprehensibly massive computer system?” Well, researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany have attempted to tackle the problem and it appears that they can’t entirely rule out the possibility.

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The new philosophy of cosmology: What happened before the Big Bang?

Even though some, including Stephen Hawking, have announced the death of philosophy, science is about asking question, sometimes even questions that we will most likely never have an answer to. One such question is “What was before the Big Bang?”.

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