A shadow of your former self

Consciousness and the ‘myth of the self’ are tackled in an interesting discussion with philosopher Thomas Metzinger on this week’s edition of ABC Radio National All in the Mind.

Metzinger is one of a relatively new breed of philosopher who actually gets his hands dirty with the business of experimental cognitive science and has co-authored some of the recent widely discussed studies that induced ‘out of body experiences’ in the lab.

The interview focuses on the material from his new book, Ego Tunnel, which seems to be getting quite a bit of attention recently.

I’ve not read it but it was reviewed very positively by Metapsychology, probably the best mind and brain book review site on the net. Nevertheless, I do have to agree with a point in the somewhat snarky New Scientist review that contrary to what the blurb says, this is neither a new nor radical approach and is accepted by most philosophers of mind.

The interview is fascinating though, not least because Metzinger is very articulate, but also because he gets wonderfully side-tracked into discussing his own experiences with altering his consciousness and how this relates to this work in understanding the mind.

I also recommend the extended discussions on the All in Mind blog where he explains his original look at an ethics of consciousness and discusses alien or anarchic hand syndrome.

Link to AITM discussion with Metzinger.
Link to AITM blog post with mp3s of extra discussions.

One Comment

  1. rita
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    “Ego Tunnel” sounds interesting and……wait…..familiar: anyone else recognise early Buddhism here?
    “neither a new nor radical approach and is accepted by most philosophers of mind.” Indeed.


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