Consciousness & The Mind Body Connection - Prof. Mark Solms
The ‘hard problem’ of consciousness is very topical in neuroscience today. It asks why our brains, which function unconsciously for the most part, require consciousness at all. It also asks how the subjective stuff of experience can be inserted into our mechanistic account of brain functioning. There seems to be no place or need for subjective experience in the physical universe.
In this talk, Mark Solms will outline the novel approach to this problem that he has taken in his recent work as reported in his new book, the Hidden Spring: a journey to the source of consciousness. The argument begins with the claim that it is a mistake to take human cognition as our model example of consciousness. Why tackle the problem from its most complex end? If we begin with the simplest forms of animal consciousness, he argues, the ‘hard problem’ becomes less hard.
About the Speaker:
Professor Mark Solms
Professor Mark Solms is best known for his discovery of the forebrain mechanisms of dreaming, and for his pioneering integration of psychoanalytic theories and methods with those of modern neuroscience. He holds the Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital (Departments of Psychology and Neurology). His other positions have included: Honorary Lecturer in Neurosurgery at St. Bartholomew’s & Royal London School of Medicine, Director of the International Neuro-Psychoanalysis Centre, London, and Director of the Arnold Pfeffer Center for Neuro-Psychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute.
Professor Solms’ books include: Clinical Studies in Neuro-Psychoanalysis (winner of the NAAP’s Gradiva Award Best Book, Science Category in 2001), The Brain and The Inner World (2002), and most recently: Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness (2021).
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Upcoming at TWU
This episode is sponsored by our upcoming Day on Changing Consciousness, taking place at the University of Greenwich on 26th June, 2022.
This will be The Weekend University’s first ‘in person’ event in over two years, and it’s shaping up to be a special occasion. The lectures will focus on consciousness paradigms that go beyond the brain, how they work, why they matter, and how understanding them can enhance your everyday experience of reality, with talks on:
–> Panpsychism: Is Everything Conscious? – Dr Philip Goff, PhD
–> From Ego-Centric to Eco-Centric: Changing Consciousness through Psychedelics – Dr Sam Gandy, PhD
–> Is Reality an Illusion? – Professor Donald Hoffman, PhD (via live video link)
By attending live, you can interact with the speakers in the Q&A sessions, connect with like-minded participants during the conference, and get CPD certification.
Should you be unable to attend in person, you’ll also be able to tune in from the comfort of home with a “Livestream Pass”.
As a listener of this podcast, you can get a discount on your ticket, if you go to https://bit.ly/ccj-twu, and use the discount code: POD when registering.