14/07/2014

Consciousness and free will

Daniel Dennett is a philosopher and writer of American origin. Doctor and professor of philosophy, has been one of the leading thinkers in philosophy of science and cognitive science in particular. Issues such as consciousness, intentionality, artificial intelligence, memetics, the study of the actual significance of Darwinism and religion, have been some of the areas where his work has been outstanding.

He is considered one of the Four Horsemen of the current thinking of the New Atheism, with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, with which has shaped the contemporary version of this idea. Their science has been marked by a search for philosophy of mind and the cognitive universe through empiricism, the scientific method and verification to provide science-based factual about consciousness, intentionality, responsibility and everything referred to human cognition.

In this interview on the specific topic of consciousness and free will Dennett makes a profound reflection zigzag through three questions to get to a powerful conclusion so great and according to this big figure of contemporary thought.

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array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#1732 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5313) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-10-14 00:01:29" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-10-13 22:01:29" ["post_content"]=> string(3724) "Después de años de estudio de su cerebro en el laboratorio de neurociencia afectiva de la Universidad de Wisconsin, Estados Unidos, en abril del año 2007 Matthieu Ricard fue considerado como 'el hombre más feliz del mundo'. Fue sometido a resonancias magnéticas nucleares y conectado a 256 sensores para detectar su nivel de estrés, irritabilidad, enfado, placer, satisfacción y multitud de sensaciones diferentes, y los resultados fueron comparados con los obtenidos en cientos de voluntarios cuya felicidad fue clasificada en niveles que iban del +0.3 —muy infeliz— a –0.3 —muy feliz—. Matthieu logró –0.45, desbordando los límites previstos en el estudio, superando todos los registros anteriores y ganándose un título que él mismo no termina de aceptar. Prefiere limitarse a resaltar que efectivamente la cantidad de 'emociones positivas' que produce su cerebro está 'muy lejos de los parámetros normales'. Matthieu es un monje budista que reside en el monasterio Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling, en Nepal. Nació en París en 1946 y es hijo de Jean-François Revel, un filósofo francés de renombre, por lo que creció rodeado de la élite intelectual francesa. Doctorado en genética molecular en el Instituto Pasteur, tras terminar su tesis doctoral en 1972 decidió abandonar la carrera científica y concentrarse en la práctica del budismo tibetano. Vivió en el Himalaya y fue discípulo de Kangyur Rinpoche, maestro de una ancestral escuela budista de la tradición Nyingma. Después se convirtió en discípulo cercano de Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche hasta su muerte en 1991, y desde entonces es asesor personal del decimocuarto Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. En esta entrevista, realizada en el canal Vision, explica cómo la felicidad es algo que puede conseguirse a través del aprendizaje y el entrenamiento, igual que leer, escribir, andar en bicicleta o tocar música de Mozart.After years of study of his brain in the affective neuroscience laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, USA, in April 2007 Matthieu Ricard was considered as 'the happiest man in the world'. He was subjected to nuclear magnetic resonance and connected to 256 sensors to detect his stress, irritability, anger, pleasure, satisfaction and many different sensations, and the results were compared with those obtained from hundreds of volunteers whose happiness was classified at levels ranged from 0.3 (very unhappy) to -0.3 (very happy). Matthieu managed to -0.45, overflowing the limits provided in the study, surpassing all previous records and earning a title that he does not accept. He prefers to highlight that effectively the amount of 'positive emotions' that produces his brain is 'far from normal parameters'. Matthieu is a Buddhist monk who resides in the Dargyeling Tennyi Shechen monastery in Nepal. He was born in Paris in 1946 and is the son of Jean-François Revel, a French philosopher of renown, so he grew up surrounded by the French intellectual elite. PhD in molecular genetics at the Pasteur Institute, after completing his doctoral thesis in 1972 decided to abandon the scientific career and concentrate on the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. He lived in the Himalayas and was a disciple of Kangyur Rinpoche, master of an ancient Buddhist school of the Nyingma tradition. Then it became a close disciple of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche until his death in 1991, and since then is personal adviser to the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. In this interview, conducted on channel Vision, he explains how happiness is something that can be achieved through learning and training, just like reading, writing, bicycling or playing music of Mozart." 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Ante todo es un luchador —contra otros boxeadores, contra la herencia de los antepasados que esclavizaron a los suyos (nacido Cassius Clay, cambió su nombre por ese motivo), contra el gobierno estadounidense al negarse a ir a la guerra de Vietnam o contra su Alzheimer final— y una figura excepcionalmente valiente y coherente que ha influido en la sociedad como pocos personajes del siglo XX. Gracias a él, entre otros, muchos americanos descendientes de africanos aprendieron a relacionarse mejor con sus orígenes. Famoso también por sus sentencias ingeniosas y llenas de humor, incluso hay quien le ve como un precursor del rap. En este vídeo, respondiendo a la pregunta de un entrevistador, nos explica su receta de la vida: —4 tazas de amor —1 cuchara de paciencia —1 cucharilla de generosidad —1 pinta de bondad —1 cuarto de placer —1 pizca de motivación Mezclar todo con voluntad, felicidad y montones de fe, después remover y extender durante toda una vida.Muhammad Ali is a former and African American boxer, three-time world champion heavyweight, but he is much more than that. First and foremost is a fighter —against other boxers, against the heritage of ancestors who enslaved his people (born Cassius Clay, changed his name for that reason), against the US government by refusing to go to the Vietnam War or against his final Alzheimer— and an exceptionally brave and consistent figure that has influenced society as few characters of the twentieth century. Thanks to him, among others, many Americans of African descent learned to relate better to their origins. Famous also for its ingenious humorous sentences, some even see him as a forerunner of rap. In this video, answering an interviewer's question, explains his recipe for life: —4 cups of love —1 table spoon of patience —1 tea spoon of generosity —1 pint of kindness —1 quarter of laugh to —1 pinch of concern Mix all with purpose, happiness and lots of faith, then stir it up and spreading it during a lifetime." 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A sus 73 años, Roy Littlesun es agricultor, maestro, sanador y guía espiritual, heredero de la tradición de los indios hopi de Arizona, Estados Unidos. Convencido de que todos somos uno y de que quien controla la alimentación controla a los seres humanos, lleva más de 36 años compartiendo sus conocimientos por todo el mundo a través de ceremonias y conferencias.'Humanity is completing its cycle of consciousness.' At 73, Roy Littlesun is a farmer, teacher, healer and spiritual guide, heir to the tradition of the Hopi Indians of Arizona, USA. Convinced that we are all one and that those who control feeding control human beings as well, has over 36 years sharing knowledge worldwide through ceremonies and conferences." 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Dejó su puesto de director territorial en la caja de ahorros donde llevaba trabajando 30 años para embarcarse en un nuevo proyecto: Triodos Bank, banco holandés creado en 1980 cuyo objetivo principal es ayudar a construir una sociedad más humana y sostenible. El banco invierte en cooperación al desarrollo, tecnología aplicada al Medio Ambiente, comercio justo o empresas socialmente responsables, y nunca en tabaco, armas o energía nuclear, por ejemplo. Y Juan Antonio habla de cosas tan chocantes en boca de un banquero como amor, espiritualidad, arte o libertad.'The art should be as important as education, math or grammar, because it develops our emotional capacity'. He left his position as regional director in the savings bank where he had worked 30 years to embark on a new project: Triodos Bank, a Dutch bank created in 1980 whose main objective is to help build a more human and sustainable society. The bank invests in development cooperation, technology applied to the environment, fair trade and socially responsible companies, and never in snuff, weapons or nuclear energy, for example. And Juan Antonio speaks about things so shocking coming from a banker as love, spirituality, art or freedom." 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