July 29, 2019 6:00 PM
How Do We Decide?
The field of consciousness studies has expanded rapidly in the last 20 years but we seem to be no closer to finding an answer to the question of exactly what consciousness is and how it came to exist. In this class we will study the ideas and theories of leading experts in this fascinating field by watching video presentations and then discussing the pros and cons. No text book is required.
This month we will continue with the PBS series The Brain with Dr. David Eagleman. Episode four, How Do We Decide? Dr. Eagleman takes a journey through the unseen world of decisions and how they get made inside your brain. Your emotions, your energy level, and your memories all come together in concert to help you neural networks decide what to do next. Philosophers and great thinkers have for millennia pondered the question of how physical stuff can give rise to mental processes. Last century, the new field of neuroscience joined the discussion, and Dr David Eagleman explains that, to a neuroscientist, the answers to such questions lie in a deep understanding of the brain.
We will continue to meet every fourth Monday until we have solved the “hard problem of consciousness.” Actually, we will probably run out of material to discuss before that happens but who knows where this might lead?