Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Mystery of Consciousness

What is the nature of the mind? What is the “I”, the “me”, the sense of personal identity or self that we all seem to possess? And, finally, as one of the deepest mysteries of all existence, what is consciousness? What is this strange thing we call “experience” and why is it private and subjective? Why, in fact, is there consciousness at all and how did it arise within a physical world?

These connected questions and puzzles have fascinated and baffled both philosophers and scientists through the ages. In his presentation "The Mystery of Consciousness," Tom addresses all these questions and more.

He begins with ancient theories of the mind, starting with the Greeks and mystical Eastern thinkers. He then moves into modern views, covering philosophy, science, neurophysiology, and the emergence of psychology toward the end of the nineteenth century. From there he explores contemporary thinking, looking at the brain and consciousness, the evolution of the self, and most recently, some mind-jolting theories of what the mind and consciousness are.

Tom then goes on to consider whether the self is an illusion, a social construction, or a figment of our imagination. In the finale, he heads into the future, connecting mind, self, and consciousness with artificial intelligence, robots, the cosmos, and the possibilities of expanding our conscious minds in the world of tomorrow.

Join Tom for a fascinating journey into the mind and consciousness Friday June 11, 2010. See the side bar for more information.