With Consciousness in Mind (Part 3)

Issue 18 November 2015

On ‘Mind Change’

In her latest book, ‘Mind Change’, Baroness Susan Greenfield discusses the all-pervading technologies that now surround us which, in her view, are creating a new environment, with vast implications, because our minds are physically adapting and are being rewired. In this exclusive interview, she discusses what this could mean and how can we harness, rather than be harnessed by, our new technological milieu to create better alternatives and more meaningful lives. ‘Mind Change’ is intended to incite debate as well as yield a way forward.

Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature

In this exclusive interview, the philosopher and cognitive scientist Alva Noë discusses his latest book, ‘Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature’, which raises a number of profound questions: What is art? Why do we value art as we do? What does art reveal about our nature? Drawing on philosophy, art history, and cognitive science, and making provocative use of examples from all three of these fields, he offers new answers to such questions. He also shows why recent efforts to frame questions about art in terms of neuroscience and evolutionary biology alone have been and will continue to be unsuccessful.

On Dreaming

What is the function of dreaming? To answer this “we then need to ask ‘what is the function of waking consciousness?’ To answer that question we need to know what waking consciousness is doing”. Dreaming is the most often occurring altered states of consciousness, yet its function remains unsolved. In this exclusive interview, Katja Valli discusses her research and work into the content, neural correlates and function of dreaming.

Is your brain really a computer, or is it a quantum orchestra tuned to the universe?

Stuart Hameroff’s research involves a theory of consciousness developed over the past 20 years with eminent British physicist Sir Roger Penrose. Called ‘orchestrated objective reduction’ (‘Orch OR’), it suggests consciousness arises from quantum vibrations in protein polymers called microtubules inside the brain’s neurons, vibrations which interfere, ‘collapse’ and resonate across scale, control neuronal firings, generate consciousness, and connect ultimately to ‘deeper order’ ripples in spacetime geometry. Consciousness is more like music than computation.

Quantum Theory, the Implicate Order and Consciousness

Basil Hiley is one of the most outstanding living quantum physicists. Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, he was David Bohm’s longtime collaborator and co-author of his final book, ‘The Undivided Universe’. In Bohm and Hiley’s work on implicate and explicate order, mind and matter are considered to be different aspects of the same process. In 2012 he was awarded the Majorana Medal for “best person in physics”. In this exclusive interview he discusses his ideas and work.

Education, Mindfulness and The Consciousness Quotient

“Consciousness Quotient focuses on witnessing awareness – decoupling from auto-pilot mode. The first step on the ladder of education is awareness”. Dr. Sona Ahuja is M.Sc.,M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Education. She is working as a teacher-educator in Dept. of Pedagogical Sciences, Dayalbagh Educational Institute (DEI), Agra, India. Her primary research interests are consciousness studies, pedagogical practices, yoga and meditation. She is team member of Consciousness Quotient Institute and has conducted researches using CQ-i. She is also active participant of activities at Center for Consciousness Studies, DEI. In this exclusive interview she discusses her ideas and work.

Metaphysics Naturalized

“Naturalised metaphysics exists to say how the world is in the light of all the sciences”. In this exclusive interview, James Ladyman discusses how metaphysics can contribute to objective knowledge, one that is based specifically on contemporary science as it really is, and how a fundamentally relational view of reality may help in thinking about consciousness.

Higher-Order Thoughts and The Consciousness Paradox

Higher-Order (HO) theories of consciousness have in common the idea that what makes a mental state conscious is that it is the object of some kind of higher-order representation. In this exclusive interview, Rocco Gennaro discusses Higher Order Theories and the Consciousness Paradox, which asks the question – how it is possible to hold a number of seemingly inconsistent views, including higher-order thought (HOT) theory, conceptualism, infant and animal consciousness, concept acquisition, and what he calls the HOT-brain thesis?

Awareness and Identification of Self

David Rosenthal is a philosopher at Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) who has made significant contributions to the philosophy of mind, particularly about consciousness, mental qualities, and the self. Rosenthal’s work extends into the related area of cognitive science and he is Coordinator of the Graduate Center’s Interdisciplinary Concentration in Cognitive Science.

Tantric Song (Blog Link)

Tantra Song is a singular and revelatory collection of rare Tantric paintings made anonymously by adepts in Rajasthan and used to awaken heightened states of consciousness. The paintings’ magnetic, vibratory beauty—as well as their deep affinity with 20th century abstract art—inspires acute attention and boundless contemplation.

Genius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway

An unabashed original, John Horton Conway is Archimedes, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, and Richard Feynman all rolled into one–a singular mathematician, with a rock star’s charisma, a sly sense of humor, a polymath’s promiscuous curiosity, and a burning desire to explain everything about the world to everyone in it. Tony Robbin reviews his recent biography by Siobhan Roberts.