I am very pleased to announce a new partnership between the Brains blog and the Institute of Art and Ideas. The IAI was founded in 2008 by the philosopher and broadcaster Hilary Lawson. It aims to invigorate our lives and culture by placing big ideas and critical thinking at the heart of public life. Through the digital platform IAI TV and a program of events including debates, retreats and the world’s largest philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn, the IAI generates and incubates original and challenging ideas and conveys these to the national and international public.
Ideas are alive and evolving. At the edge there is rarely consensus. That’s why ideas matter – because they are in dispute. When they turn into knowledge and are recycled in textbooks they are already dead. And that’s why debates, rather than lectures, are at the center of the IAI’s program.
In this New Philosopher-sponsored debate, the first post in an ongoing series of IAI videos on Philosophy of Brains, we see formulator of the hard problem of consciousness David Chalmers, Oxford philosopher Peter Hacker, and New York neuroscientist Susana Martinez-Conde debate the mystery of experience. Our life is made up of experiences, but what experience actually is remains a mystery. Heidegger thought it inexplicable and neuroscientists cannot find its location. Do we just need a better theory to uncover its secrets? Or is experience somehow both all that we have and yet not part of this world?