Monday, December 24, 2012

David Chalmers: The Scrutability of the World - Episode 68: The Partially Examined Life

Philosopher David Chalmers, one of the co-creators of the Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference, has a new book out, Constructing the World, and he is on The Partially Examined Life podcast this week talking about the book in a lengthy discussion.

You can a taste of the book by checking out this online version he posted last - it's a draft of the book, and there have been many changes, but as he says, the structure is there.

Episode 68: David Chalmers Interview on the Scrutability of the World 

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:34:03 — 86.2MB)

On his book Constructing the World (2012).

How are all the various truths about the world related to each other? David Chalmers, famous for advocating a scientifically respectable form of brain-consciousness dualism, advocates a framework of scrutability: if one knew some set of base truths, then the rest would be knowable from them. What sort of base? Well, there may be many principle bases, and what’s important for Chalmers is not the details of which is picked but of the scrutability framework as a whole. The base he discusses the most in the book is PQTI, for Physical, Qualia (mental), “That’s all,” and Indexical (like “I’m here now). Being able to derive the rest of reality from PQTI has implications, Chalmers thinks, for the philosophy of language, mind, and metaphysics.

Mark tries to draw Chalmers into speculating outside his areas of expertise. Dylan asks about physics, of course. Wes has technical issues and drops off half way through (listen for the “ping” as he texts Mark to that effect). Read more about the project and get the book.

End song: “What You Want” by New People, from the not-yet-released third album.Become a PEL Citizen to get bonus content, including an mp3 of the above song and a full discussion of Chalmers’s book on consciousness. You can also participate there in Not School discussion groups; new ones are starting in January on philosophy and physics, Merleau-Ponty, Martin Buber, and other topics. Alternately, support us by making a donation, or check out our new T-Shirt/mug/sticker designs.
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