Ian Glendinning

Thursday, May 4 2017 at 7:30PM

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Ian Glendinning

What's the talk about?

Ian Glendinning - Elaborating on the 5 minute Open Mike slot from last August:
"Me and My Free Will - Consciousness is as real as you are."
Materialist science has a hard time explaining consciousness and almost by definition cannot explain our subjective experience of it. And, even when it tries, it remains just as hard to account for how our subjective "will" can really affect the physical world. The problem is as old as philosophy itself, most famously exposed during the Enlightenment by Descartes's dualism and dubbed simply "The Hard Problem" in the late 20th century. So hard that many scientists and philosophers have concluded in all seriousness that Consciousness and Free Will must be illusions, that they are simply not real.
Evolutionary philosopher Dan Dennett has spent as much time working on this as anyone to date, and his latest book "From Bacteria to Bach and Back" is probably as good as it gets.
Surprisingly, in addition to providing the best explanation of consciousness so far as our "User Interface", perhaps the most significant conclusion from Dennett's latest, is the question it throws upon what makes for a good "scientific explanation".
Science finds itself under examination.