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Penrose + Rogan

I highly recommend Penrose’s classic The Emperor’s New Mind and the follow-up Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness. I had the pleasure of meeting Penrose via an Imperial-based collaborator/chum of mine at an Imperial College lecture soon after the release of TENM. It’s quite extraordinary that Rogan as the proverbial geezer on…

Walker Percy Wednesday 185

What has this to do with existentialism? We will pass over the epistemological consequences of symbolic knowing, the possession of the thing by the symbol rather than adaptation by signal-a knowing which is indeed existential in the broad sense of knowing something by being something-and go at once to the more typical existentialia. The recognition…

From cybernetics to brain theory, and more: A memoir

My chum, Péter Érdi, editor of Cognitive Systems Research, has alerted me to the open access memoir (63 pages) by neuroscience grandee Michael Arbib. Giving me the opportunity to talk to these visitors was one of the ways in which McCulloch contributed more to my graduate education than any other professor at MIT. When I thanked him, he…

Walker Percy Wednesday 183

SYMBOL AND CONSCIOUSNESS The selective and intentional character of consciousness has been stressed by empiricists and phenomenologists alike. The conscious act is always intentional: One is never simply conscious, but conscious of this or that. Consciousness is, in fact, defined by the phenomenologist as noematic intentionality in general. But quite as essential to the act…

Walker Percy Wednesday 182

THERE ARE two interesting things about current approaches to consciousness as a subject of inquiry. One is that the two major approaches, the explanatory-psychological and the phenomenological, go their separate ways, contributing nothing to each other. They do not tend to converge upon or supplement each other as do, say, atomic theory and electromagnetic theory.…

First synthesized LSD trip

On this date in 1943 Albert Hofmann accidentally ingested LSD. Check out this documentary entitled Hofmann’s Potion. Strong Saskatoon connection to LSD research. Albert HofmannAldous HuxleyAlfred Matthew HubbardchemistryconsciousnessdrugsLSD hallucinogenicsneurosciencephilosophical psychologyPhilosophy of mindPsychedelicpsychiatryqualiaReligion & SpiritualityschizophreniaTimothy Leary