11 min

Can we have real conversations with AI? How do illusions help us make sense of the world? - Highlights - KEITH FRANKISH Books & Writers · The Creative Process: Novelists, Screenwriters, Playwrights, Poets, Non-fiction Writers & Journalists Talk

    • Books

“There is magic everywhere. There's wonder everywhere. There's wondrous complexity that is so complex, so difficult to conceptualize, to grasp, to articulate that it might as well be magic for all intents and purposes, but we can gradually start to unpick how the tricks are done, how nature learned to do these wonderful tricks. And that's the wonder of science, gradually learning what's happening behind the scenes and how these marvelous effects are produced.
I'm probably best known for my work on consciousness. My view about this is often caricatured, I think, as a kind of heartless, materialist one, because I'm resistant to all forms of dualism about the mind. I think that's a very unhelpful way of thinking.
Some people think that I do that because I have a sort of crass materialist attitude to the world, that there's only things you can measure and weigh and bump into and everything else is just nonsense and fancy and different. What I like about the sort of view I have is that it represents us as fully part of the world, fully part of the same world. We're not sealed off into little private mental bubbles, Cartesian theaters, where all the real action is happening in here, not out there. No, I think we're much more engaged with the world… Another one of my heroes is Daniel Dennett's great friend, Nicholas Humphrey, who has a wonderfully rich range of experience. He's been described as a scientific humanist. What he does is he knows his science, including cognitive neuroscience and psychology, but he's also steeped in literature, art, music, and painting, and he brings all this together in his wonderful book on consciousness Soul Dust, published in 2011, suggests the idea that the soul is actually made of dust, which is a fantastic concept.”

“There is magic everywhere. There's wonder everywhere. There's wondrous complexity that is so complex, so difficult to conceptualize, to grasp, to articulate that it might as well be magic for all intents and purposes, but we can gradually start to unpick how the tricks are done, how nature learned to do these wonderful tricks. And that's the wonder of science, gradually learning what's happening behind the scenes and how these marvelous effects are produced.
I'm probably best known for my work on consciousness. My view about this is often caricatured, I think, as a kind of heartless, materialist one, because I'm resistant to all forms of dualism about the mind. I think that's a very unhelpful way of thinking.
Some people think that I do that because I have a sort of crass materialist attitude to the world, that there's only things you can measure and weigh and bump into and everything else is just nonsense and fancy and different. What I like about the sort of view I have is that it represents us as fully part of the world, fully part of the same world. We're not sealed off into little private mental bubbles, Cartesian theaters, where all the real action is happening in here, not out there. No, I think we're much more engaged with the world… Another one of my heroes is Daniel Dennett's great friend, Nicholas Humphrey, who has a wonderfully rich range of experience. He's been described as a scientific humanist. What he does is he knows his science, including cognitive neuroscience and psychology, but he's also steeped in literature, art, music, and painting, and he brings all this together in his wonderful book on consciousness Soul Dust, published in 2011, suggests the idea that the soul is actually made of dust, which is a fantastic concept.”

11 min