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Blog - Space Time Mind

Richard Brown and Pete Mandik

7
Followers
10
Plays
Blog - Space Time Mind

Blog - Space Time Mind

Richard Brown and Pete Mandik

7
Followers
10
Plays
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Philosophy professors Richard Brown and Pete Mandik tackle topics ranging from the neuroscience of consciousness to the philosophical foundations of physics.

Latest Episodes

Episode 35: Consciousness and Funky Content

In order to account for consciousness in terms of representational content, how FUNKY does the content need to be? Along the way we discuss the representation of inexistents and whether mathematical structuralism can shed light on the conceivability of undetectable qualia inversions. Is there any real difference (as opposed to a merely notational difference) between the square root of negative one and the negative square root of negative one? If so, what would that tell us about the question of whether intersubjectively undetectable qualia inversions are conceivable?

56 min2015 NOV 1
Comments
Episode 35: Consciousness and Funky Content

Episode 34: Awareness, Attention, and Globally Accessible Information

ATTENTION! Richard Brown and Pete Mandik shine their spotlights on the philosophy of mind of attention and awareness. Many philosophers of mind endorse the Transitivity Principle, the view that if you have a conscious state, you must be aware of that state. But what is the best account of the relevant notion of awareness? Is attending a kind of awareness? Further, is it a kind of awareness that is distinct from the awareness one has in virtue of perceiving, thinking about, or sensing something? Does it suffice for being aware of something that information about it is globally accessible to an embedding system? Would global availability suffice for a higher-order awareness of one’s own mental states, or would it only suffice for a first-order awareness of environmental or bodily items? Along the way we also get into some methodology and metaphilosophy, especially as regards the question of to what degree philosophical and scientific theorizing should be constrained by folk theory.

56 min2015 OCT 17
Comments
Episode 34: Awareness, Attention, and Globally Accessible Information

Episode 33: The Philosophy of Mind of Pain (with David Pereplyotchik)

Prof. David Pereplyotchik once again joins Pete Mandik to tackle pain in the philosophy of mind. Can there be a scientific reductive explanation of pain. Can robots feel pain? Will this hurt? We here continue the conversation we started in SpaceTimeMind Episode 27.

108 min2015 SEP 15
Comments
Episode 33: The Philosophy of Mind of Pain (with David Pereplyotchik)

Episode 32: Technological Immortality and Secular Hell

Richard Brown and Pete Mandik debate the following proposal: The worst thing you can imagine happening to you is an event that has a non-zero probability of occurring at any given moment, and the longer you stay alive, the greater the chances become of that thing happening at some point in your lifetime. Would literally infinitely-lived immortals necessarily run into their own worst imaginable hell? Would even finite, but long-lived transhuman lifespans increase their chances of suffering by increasing their time alive? Would any amount of possible pleasure make it worth risking the worst imaginable suffering? Along the way we talk a little physics and a little Buddhism. Are interpretations of quantum mechanics the place where explanations go to bottom out? What are the physical prospects of the universe itself not dying? If you can achieve, in a single moment, a conscious experience of eternity, what’s the point of having more than one such experience?

72 min2015 SEP 1
Comments
Episode 32: Technological Immortality and Secular Hell

Episode 31: Future Philosophy

Get in the Delorean, Marty! It’s time for the future of philosophy and the philosophy of the future. Philosophers and chrononauts Richard Brown and Pete Mandik overclock their flux capacitors to see if philosophy has a chance of surviving into the deep future of the human race. In the first half of the episode, they discuss the future of life itself. Along the way they hit Nick Bostrom’s “Great Filter” argument, Susan Schneider’s argument that aliens will be robots, and Pete’s own “Metaphysical Daring” argument about mind uploading and posthuman survival strategies. In part two, they delve into the future of the human race, and the question of whether philosophy could survive humanity's slipping into a Mad-Max-style future-primitive dark age. If we don't devolve into an idiocracy, will philosophy ever converge on a uniquely correct way of representing the real?

61 min2015 AUG 16
Comments
Episode 31: Future Philosophy

Episode 30: Singularity Cinema: Ex Machina and Advantageous

Spoilers galore as philosophers Richard Brown and Pete Mandik wade up to their necks in spoilers to discuss recent cinematic depictions of (spoiler) artificial intelligence and (another spoiler) mind-uploading, especially in the 2015 films Ex Machina and Advantageous. DID WE MENTION THERE WILL BE SPOILERS? The first half of the episode largely focuses on Ex Machina and we shift to Advantageous for the second half. Also: Spoilers.

68 min2015 AUG 1
Comments
Episode 30: Singularity Cinema: Ex Machina and Advantageous

Episode 29: The Rise and Fall of Phizzy Callizm and the Spiders From Mars

Gather up your microphysical constituents and embark on an epic audio odyssey wherein Richard Brown and Pete Mandik rock out about: physicalism, whether the mind is physical, how best to define "physical" and "physicalism," whether the physical universe is causally closed, and whether brainless spiders from Mars can have minds, etcetera, etcetera, and so on, and so forth. TO BE PLAYED AT MAXIMUM VOLUME

72 min2015 JUL 15
Comments
Episode 29: The Rise and Fall of Phizzy Callizm and the Spiders From Mars

Episode 28: Psychedelic Artificial Neural Networks

Cognitive philosophers Richard Brown and Pete Mandik examine recent claims by Google researchers to have implemented dreams, imagery, and hallucinations in artificial neural networks. The images created by these artificial systems are kind of cool, but can anything at all be learned from such projects about how the mind or brain actually functions? Richard and Pete move from there to debate connectionism, AI, and rationalist vs. empiricist methodologies in the philosophy of cognitive science. Special prize for the first listener to correctly identify all three of the neuroscientists that Pete misidentifies!

61 min2015 JUL 1
Comments
Episode 28: Psychedelic Artificial Neural Networks

Episode 27: Pains and Brains (with David Pereplyotchik)

Pete Mandik is once again joined by David Pereplyotchik (see episode 25) and this time they enter into a world of pain. Are pains identical to states of brains? Are pains fully accessible only from the first-person point of view? Is there anything contradictory about the idea of unconscious pains? Can you merely seem to yourself to be suffering without actually really being in a state of suffering? Will Pete and David answer any of these questions about pain in the philosophy of mind?

101 min2015 JUN 16
Comments
Episode 27: Pains and Brains (with David Pereplyotchik)

Episode 26: Your Digital Afterlives (with Eric Steinhart)

Pete Mandik talks to philosopher Eric Steinhart (William Paterson University) about his book, Your Digital Afterlives: Computational Theories of Life after Death. They dig deep into the computational and value-theoretic foundations of all existence. Other topics tackled include atheistic neopaganism, the cognitive science of hyper-arousal trances, the prudential self-concern of mind-uploads, entheogenic drugs, and Roko’s basilisk. Get comfy with a hot bowl of monads and enjoy the show while an infinite army of zombie-Leibnizes tear up the town.

101 min2015 APR 15
Comments
Episode 26: Your Digital Afterlives (with Eric Steinhart)

Latest Episodes

Episode 35: Consciousness and Funky Content

In order to account for consciousness in terms of representational content, how FUNKY does the content need to be? Along the way we discuss the representation of inexistents and whether mathematical structuralism can shed light on the conceivability of undetectable qualia inversions. Is there any real difference (as opposed to a merely notational difference) between the square root of negative one and the negative square root of negative one? If so, what would that tell us about the question of whether intersubjectively undetectable qualia inversions are conceivable?

56 min2015 NOV 1
Comments
Episode 35: Consciousness and Funky Content

Episode 34: Awareness, Attention, and Globally Accessible Information

ATTENTION! Richard Brown and Pete Mandik shine their spotlights on the philosophy of mind of attention and awareness. Many philosophers of mind endorse the Transitivity Principle, the view that if you have a conscious state, you must be aware of that state. But what is the best account of the relevant notion of awareness? Is attending a kind of awareness? Further, is it a kind of awareness that is distinct from the awareness one has in virtue of perceiving, thinking about, or sensing something? Does it suffice for being aware of something that information about it is globally accessible to an embedding system? Would global availability suffice for a higher-order awareness of one’s own mental states, or would it only suffice for a first-order awareness of environmental or bodily items? Along the way we also get into some methodology and metaphilosophy, especially as regards the question of to what degree philosophical and scientific theorizing should be constrained by folk theory.

56 min2015 OCT 17
Comments
Episode 34: Awareness, Attention, and Globally Accessible Information

Episode 33: The Philosophy of Mind of Pain (with David Pereplyotchik)

Prof. David Pereplyotchik once again joins Pete Mandik to tackle pain in the philosophy of mind. Can there be a scientific reductive explanation of pain. Can robots feel pain? Will this hurt? We here continue the conversation we started in SpaceTimeMind Episode 27.

108 min2015 SEP 15
Comments
Episode 33: The Philosophy of Mind of Pain (with David Pereplyotchik)

Episode 32: Technological Immortality and Secular Hell

Richard Brown and Pete Mandik debate the following proposal: The worst thing you can imagine happening to you is an event that has a non-zero probability of occurring at any given moment, and the longer you stay alive, the greater the chances become of that thing happening at some point in your lifetime. Would literally infinitely-lived immortals necessarily run into their own worst imaginable hell? Would even finite, but long-lived transhuman lifespans increase their chances of suffering by increasing their time alive? Would any amount of possible pleasure make it worth risking the worst imaginable suffering? Along the way we talk a little physics and a little Buddhism. Are interpretations of quantum mechanics the place where explanations go to bottom out? What are the physical prospects of the universe itself not dying? If you can achieve, in a single moment, a conscious experience of eternity, what’s the point of having more than one such experience?

72 min2015 SEP 1
Comments
Episode 32: Technological Immortality and Secular Hell

Episode 31: Future Philosophy

Get in the Delorean, Marty! It’s time for the future of philosophy and the philosophy of the future. Philosophers and chrononauts Richard Brown and Pete Mandik overclock their flux capacitors to see if philosophy has a chance of surviving into the deep future of the human race. In the first half of the episode, they discuss the future of life itself. Along the way they hit Nick Bostrom’s “Great Filter” argument, Susan Schneider’s argument that aliens will be robots, and Pete’s own “Metaphysical Daring” argument about mind uploading and posthuman survival strategies. In part two, they delve into the future of the human race, and the question of whether philosophy could survive humanity's slipping into a Mad-Max-style future-primitive dark age. If we don't devolve into an idiocracy, will philosophy ever converge on a uniquely correct way of representing the real?

61 min2015 AUG 16
Comments
Episode 31: Future Philosophy

Episode 30: Singularity Cinema: Ex Machina and Advantageous

Spoilers galore as philosophers Richard Brown and Pete Mandik wade up to their necks in spoilers to discuss recent cinematic depictions of (spoiler) artificial intelligence and (another spoiler) mind-uploading, especially in the 2015 films Ex Machina and Advantageous. DID WE MENTION THERE WILL BE SPOILERS? The first half of the episode largely focuses on Ex Machina and we shift to Advantageous for the second half. Also: Spoilers.

68 min2015 AUG 1
Comments
Episode 30: Singularity Cinema: Ex Machina and Advantageous

Episode 29: The Rise and Fall of Phizzy Callizm and the Spiders From Mars

Gather up your microphysical constituents and embark on an epic audio odyssey wherein Richard Brown and Pete Mandik rock out about: physicalism, whether the mind is physical, how best to define "physical" and "physicalism," whether the physical universe is causally closed, and whether brainless spiders from Mars can have minds, etcetera, etcetera, and so on, and so forth. TO BE PLAYED AT MAXIMUM VOLUME

72 min2015 JUL 15
Comments
Episode 29: The Rise and Fall of Phizzy Callizm and the Spiders From Mars

Episode 28: Psychedelic Artificial Neural Networks

Cognitive philosophers Richard Brown and Pete Mandik examine recent claims by Google researchers to have implemented dreams, imagery, and hallucinations in artificial neural networks. The images created by these artificial systems are kind of cool, but can anything at all be learned from such projects about how the mind or brain actually functions? Richard and Pete move from there to debate connectionism, AI, and rationalist vs. empiricist methodologies in the philosophy of cognitive science. Special prize for the first listener to correctly identify all three of the neuroscientists that Pete misidentifies!

61 min2015 JUL 1
Comments
Episode 28: Psychedelic Artificial Neural Networks

Episode 27: Pains and Brains (with David Pereplyotchik)

Pete Mandik is once again joined by David Pereplyotchik (see episode 25) and this time they enter into a world of pain. Are pains identical to states of brains? Are pains fully accessible only from the first-person point of view? Is there anything contradictory about the idea of unconscious pains? Can you merely seem to yourself to be suffering without actually really being in a state of suffering? Will Pete and David answer any of these questions about pain in the philosophy of mind?

101 min2015 JUN 16
Comments
Episode 27: Pains and Brains (with David Pereplyotchik)

Episode 26: Your Digital Afterlives (with Eric Steinhart)

Pete Mandik talks to philosopher Eric Steinhart (William Paterson University) about his book, Your Digital Afterlives: Computational Theories of Life after Death. They dig deep into the computational and value-theoretic foundations of all existence. Other topics tackled include atheistic neopaganism, the cognitive science of hyper-arousal trances, the prudential self-concern of mind-uploads, entheogenic drugs, and Roko’s basilisk. Get comfy with a hot bowl of monads and enjoy the show while an infinite army of zombie-Leibnizes tear up the town.

101 min2015 APR 15
Comments
Episode 26: Your Digital Afterlives (with Eric Steinhart)
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