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Alva Noë on consciousness, the brain, and ways of knowing

Philosopher Alva Noë of UC Berkeley will be interviewed in a live Philosophy Talk program in Berkeley on Sunday, January 27. So before we see him (if we decide to see him), let's discuss some of what he's written on consciousness, the brain, and ways of knowing.


Here is a link to the page about the next meetup, which is the Philosophy Talk program with Professor Noë:

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  • Jeff G

    Today, Philosophy Talk published the January episode on Alva Noe, which was recorded live at the Marsh. My overtime question did not get included, but it's still ;-) worth listening to–mostly, as an illuminating example how a philosophy discussion can get derailed. I assume that's interesting because that happens to us from time to time, and we don't have to luxury of listening to a recording to figure out what went wrong.

    Upon the rehearing, it was easier to see what "went south," and it was no one party's fault. The hosts had a preconception of what "embodied knowing" philosophy was about: basically, that it was a trend. Thus the younger host, Ken, took the lead on trying to embrace it. But he wanted it as a feather in his analytical cap: dance as an "additional way" of knowing. Sort of a Kantian flavor, but still very mind/brain-centric.

    April 19, 2013

    • Jeff G

      Noe kept implying, even saying, that knowing was instead a way of dancing, when he should instead have owned up to his project and said that all knowing was better understood as a variety of perception, and the interactivity he finds in perception becomes manifest in dancing. (Except philosophers seem not too comfortable with dancing!) His introduction of the distinction between art and folk dancing further clouded the issue. It was a little annoying how Ken replaced two of the audience questions with his own, including Ariella's. The long exchange at the end between John and Alva (which I didn't hear before because I was distracted by being at the head of the line) seems to me clearly explained by a train/engine being a manufactured object and not comparable to brain/mind (although they were ostensibly talking about money).

      April 19, 2013

    • Jeff G

      Having started to read some Wittgenstein, I see the difficulty in trying to arrive at phenomenology from within an analytical tradition. You can't tell people about a new language game by playing their existing game: your playing their game only confirms it, regardless of what you try to indicate within it. You just have to play the new game until they get it.

      April 19, 2013

  • Jeff G

    Although we didn't focus on discerning Noe's thesis as much as I would have liked, it was an excellent conversation nonetheless. People stayed tuned in: perhaps the shifting conversational subgroups actually helped, as we lasted 2.5 hours!

    January 24, 2013

  • Maureen

    Good topic and pre-reading, lots to talk about and debate. I enjoyed hearing all the perspectives.

    January 23, 2013

  • Henry R.

    Good meetup

    January 23, 2013

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