Archive for outubro 21st, 2018

Mente e Consciência: Debate entre Cientistas Materialistas e Cristãos (Vídeo e Analise do Transcript)

domingo, outubro 21st, 2018

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00:03
welcome to the big conversation here on
00:06
unbelievable with me Justin Bradley the
00:08
big conversation is a series of shows
00:10
exploring faiths science philosophy and
00:12
what it means to be human in association
00:15
with the Templeton religion trust and
00:17
today our conversation topic is are we
00:19
more than matter debating mind
00:21
consciousness and freewill and the big
00:23
conversation partners I’m sitting down
00:25
with today are Daniel Dennett and Keith
00:27
Ward Daniel C Dennett is professor of
00:29
philosophy at Tufts University in the
00:31
USA and well known for his work in the
00:33
philosophy of mind his books include
00:35
breaking the spell religion as a natural
00:38
phenomenon and from bacteria to bark and
00:41
back the evolution of minds dan is an
00:44
atheist and has even been counted among
00:45
the four so-called Horsemen of the New
00:47
Atheism he believes that brains mind and
00:50
consciousness can be explained in purely
00:52
material terms with no need for anything
00:54
other than a naturalist view of reality
00:57
Keith Ward is a British philosopher
00:58
who’s held various positions including
01:01
Regis professor of divinity at Oxford
01:03
University and he’s presently professor
01:05
at roehampton university his books
01:07
include why there almost certainly is a
01:09
God and more than matter and Keith holds
01:12
to an idealist view of the mind
01:14
believing that consciousness is the
01:16
primary reality upon which the material
01:18
world is dependent and that our
01:20
existence as conscious self-aware
01:22
creatures is dependent on an ultimate
01:25
mind God so Keith and Daniel welcome
01:28
along to the program great we’re going
01:31
to be talking about consciousness mind
01:33
freewill huge topics and we’ll won’t be
01:35
able to do them full justice in the
01:37
course of the time we have today but
01:39
perhaps before we get into it a little
01:40
introduction to you both dan are you
01:43
happy to wear the label atheist is that
01:45
something you’ve called yourself for a
01:47
long time I’m happy to wear the label
01:49
for years I didn’t bother but then it
01:52
seemed that especially in the United
01:56
States there was a sort of theocratic
01:58
boom and it seemed important just to
02:01
tell people you don’t have to make a big
02:03
deal of it because they know no I’m an
02:05
atheist and you know a lot of atheists a
02:07
lot of Americans need to hear that and
02:09
in that sense do you find that your
02:12
atheism
02:13
in a specific way or is it a specific
02:15
outlook on life in any way that the
02:17
atheism it’s just the naturalist outlook
02:20
I mean I don’t believe in anything
02:21
supernatural and so take on the burden
02:26
of explaining all the wonderful things
02:28
in the world in terms that are
02:31
scientifically acceptable and and and
02:34
does that for you quite then to a
02:36
naturalist perspective being that all
02:38
that ultimately does exist is is
02:40
material stuff matter energy and so on
02:42
and so on
02:44
yes information exists hmm it’s not in a
02:49
special medium it now always has to be
02:51
in some physical medium but you really
02:54
have to consider information in your in
02:56
your theory and and this has been
03:00
recognized by people say in physics for
03:03
many years Norbert Wiener put it very
03:06
clearly you it’s it’s impossible to be a
03:09
modern materialist without adding
03:11
information to your list it’s it’s
03:14
neither matter nor energy and when it
03:16
comes to the philosophy of mind do you
03:18
find that by and large a naturalist
03:20
perspective is the dominant one these
03:22
days when it comes to explaining
03:23
consciousness certainly in the areas
03:28
that I work in in cognitive science and
03:30
naturalistic philosophy of mind it’s
03:32
entirely dominant there is a sort of
03:37
backwater movement which is got some
03:40
adherents which is pushing non
03:43
naturalist lines pants psychism and
03:47
dualism the various sorts are are
03:50
currently being enthusiastically
03:53
explored by a few people well I’m
03:55
looking forward to the conversation with
03:57
you and I think it’s the first time
03:59
you’ve met Keith I’ve been able to have
04:01
a dialogue so I’m really pleased to be
04:02
able to bring you both together Keith I
04:05
think you’re one of the foremost people
04:07
probably in the world when it comes to
04:09
an idealist perspective on consciousness
04:12
and mind we’ll get you to explain that
04:15
in a bit more detail in a moment but you
04:17
yourself are a Christian is that an
04:19
unusual in the world of philosophy in
04:21
your experience to be a Christian well
04:24
I’m part of the back wall
04:27
in England it’s not really unusual
04:30
although I think most philosophers who
04:33
teach in universities in England aren’t
04:35
very interested in religion be true but
04:37
on the whole there they’re not very
04:40
interested in large-scale metaphysical
04:42
views at all so they do different things
04:43
and there are quite a number of quite
04:47
notable philosophers who are either
04:51
religious or specifically Christian yes
04:54
my colleague Richard Swinburne is one
04:56
example but there are others so it’s
04:58
quite a large backwater but it’s
05:00
probably a minority well it is a
05:02
minority yes I think you’ve both been
05:04
involved in philosophy of mind for a
05:06
similar length of time in fact I think
05:08
you both shared a a teacher in the past
05:10
Gilbert Ryle that’s true as far as my
05:13
where Keith was more in line with with
05:15
Dan’s view on the nature of mind than
05:17
yours well I don’t think he was in line
05:19
with either of our views as I understand
05:21
them because he was very much influenced
05:24
by someone called JL Austin who is
05:27
associated with ordinary language
05:29
philosophy and I think Gerber I’d always
05:31
said to me that he wasn’t he didn’t have
05:34
to know anything about psychology at all
05:37
true and he didn’t in the use of the
05:41
words that people used about he’s
05:43
intelligent or he knows something he has
05:47
dreams he was interesting the uses of a
05:49
language and I think I think well I was
05:53
certainly more metaphysically man did I
05:54
wanted to say what’s stuff made of
05:56
ultimately mmm and he didn’t think that
05:59
was a very interesting question well
06:01
let’s explore your sort of area and your
06:04
worldview if you like in this sense
06:07
Keith’s of what stuff is ultimately made
06:09
of you’re an idealist could you explain
06:11
what an idealist
06:12
yes a lot of people think an idealist is
06:15
somebody who has rather impractical and
06:16
moral ideals but that’s not that at all
06:19
it it is saying that consciousness or
06:22
mind is the best known most immediately
06:26
known and probably ontological II prior
06:28
that is the thing which exists in its
06:31
own sake and that the material world is
06:34
in some sense illogical
06:37
construction out of that consciousness
06:40
interestingly the person I think we both
06:43
came across when we were in Oxford a
06:45
Jair was an idealist in this sense he
06:49
thought that what the stuff of reality
06:52
is what he calls sense data over which
06:54
our perceptions really and perceptions
06:57
are conscious things and so the British
06:59
Empire is a tradition was always just
07:01
say in 18th century that all knowledge
07:06
comes from experience an experience is
07:09
conscious experience so that’s where I
07:11
start from that very old British
07:13
tradition really and and that’s I
07:15
suppose in a sense it’s true that
07:17
everything we do know of is mediated by
07:20
our senses as there’s a sense in which
07:22
we are absolutely bound by sight taste
07:26
touch and everything else is that the
07:29
sense in which you would say that that
07:31
consciousness is primary is is is that
07:33
we are ultimately that our experience of
07:35
everything has to be mediated by
07:37
consciousness yes there are two main
07:39
philosophical approaches one is
07:41
phenomenology which is mostly in
07:43
continental Europe and that is you start
07:47
philosophy by asking the question what
07:49
is it like to experience something or
07:50
what’s the nature of experience so
07:52
you’re starting from experience and you
07:54
you would probably never say that you
07:57
could eliminate that that’s a starting
07:59
point and then you ask what it’s what
08:00
does it like to fear what does it like
08:02
to have anxiety or the whole of
08:05
existentialist philosophy starts there
08:07
and then there’s a rather different and
08:09
persist tradition which concentrates on
08:12
sense perceptions but doesn’t assume
08:15
that sense perceptions come through the
08:17
body let’s see and philosophers carry
08:21
out after this sort carry out thought
08:23
experiments could you have visual
08:26
perceptions and oral perceptions were
08:27
that a body could they exist and I
08:30
people like me fine we think it’s
08:33
logically possible and so there that’s a
08:37
sort of key move when you say if you
08:39
start from experience and you’re not
08:41
going to eliminate it then your problem
08:44
is what is the material universe hmm
08:46
it’s it’s not the other way round it’s
08:49
not so it’s almost exactly the
08:51
opposite way around in a sense to to the
08:53
view that Dan takes that consciousness
08:55
and mental stuff is dependent on if you
08:59
like materials flow yours is the view
09:01
quite the opposite that the
09:03
consciousness and mental activity comes
09:05
first and and that is the Senecas fest
09:09
in the order of knowledge and then
09:11
there’s the question well does that mean
09:13
it comes first in real fact and a person
09:17
who is an idealist would say yes that’s
09:20
the certainly a possibility and it will
09:24
come into talking about what why you
09:25
believe this is the case but how does
09:28
this offer you point back to God
09:30
ultimately then well it’s slightly
09:32
independent I mean a lot of idealists
09:33
wouldn’t use the word God because God
09:36
has a personal sense about it hmm
09:39
and so the philosophy of idealism and
09:42
its major proponents like Immanuel Kant
09:45
and Hegel wouldn’t be God in the sense
09:51
in which Christians talk about God it’d
09:53
be something rather more abstract more
09:57
metaphysical right but I would use the
09:59
word God of course semo’s so my
10:01
Christian faith is more dependent on
10:03
various sorts of personal experience
10:06
than on the philosophy okay but they
10:08
have a natural affinity if you believe
10:11
in God it’s it’s fairly natural to say
10:14
oh that fits into a view of saint
10:16
consciousness as a primary element of
10:18
reality and in that sense is everything
10:20
that exists in your view in some sense
10:22
within exists because it exists within
10:25
the consciousness of God yes yes
10:28
yeah and as a hypothesis I would say it
10:32
has to do that there has to be some
10:34
consciousness here that’s the hypothesis
10:36
thank you very much for helping us to
10:39
understand the idealist perspective and
10:42
in what sense then could you lay out Dan
10:46
your view as a naturalist of how mind
10:48
emerges from material stuff and natural
10:52
in fact the Heath’s account of idealism
10:55
provides a very nice background for
10:57
saying what the difference is mm-hmm he
10:59
says that sense experience conscious
11:02
experience comes first in your
11:04
knowledge and I said first in one sense
11:07
yeah you have to be awakened and have
11:11
the experiences to start learning about
11:13
science but when you do what you
11:16
discover is that you’re sent not only
11:19
into your senses deceive you but
11:21
sometimes you were wrong about your very
11:24
own experience
11:25
you’re not the authoritative infallible
11:28
internal witness that you think you are
11:30
and if you want to understand science
11:34
and I think an idealist has two choices
11:37
they can either just ignore science the
11:40
material science physical science or
11:42
they can somehow couch it within their
11:48
idealistic framework but they and and
11:51
then take it very seriously hmm
11:53
but if you do that it undermines your
11:55
idealist foundations you know sometimes
11:58
spectacular ways and what we’re learning
12:01
is that our own experience the
12:05
experience that we have untutored and
12:08
just by being awake the experience that
12:11
is first in knowledge according to Keith
12:14
turns out to depend on own relievedly
12:19
complex and fascinating and
12:21
sophisticated unconscious computations
12:25
that go on in our brain so the
12:27
naturalist says well let’s study that
12:29
let’s see if we can figure out how
12:31
brains work and either you have to deny
12:34
that brains have anything to do with
12:36
consciousness or you have to take that
12:38
seriously and when you do you begin to
12:41
discover that consciousness the
12:44
consciousness that we all enjoy is not
12:49
what we thought it was it’s not an inner
12:52
show at all it’s a way of being in the
12:57
world and being knowledgeable and adroit
13:00
and adept in the world and the models
13:04
that we’re developing in cognitive
13:07
science can account for vast stretches
13:12
of that capacity and better than we can
13:16
if I ask you
13:18
just tell me what you see right now and
13:21
you say wise to your face how do you do
13:26
that how does your your lips move
13:30
something in your brain gets you talking
13:32
you have no access to yourself to how
13:35
you frame that sentence and how you
13:38
relied on your current experience it
13:41
just seems obvious but in fact there’s a
13:44
lot going on inside there that we have
13:46
to untangle and when we do that from the
13:49
naturalist point of view the idealist
13:51
position looks fundamentally backward it
13:54
looks like just grabbing the wrong end
13:57
of the stick
13:57
I’ll let Keith respond to that in the
13:59
moments time but what I’m hearing from
14:01
you there Dan is is that because we have
14:04
been able to investigate the material
14:06
stuff of the brain and see the
14:08
connections and see that when we do
14:11
things to the brain it changes the
14:12
perceptions people have and they’re
14:14
conscious experience and everything else
14:16
there that gives us evidence that all of
14:19
that consciousness is strictly dependent
14:21
on that the physical state of I’m not
14:24
saying it’s yes and I mean nonetheless
14:27
it it is an extraordinary organ isn’t it
14:31
the brain and when you consider that on
14:33
a naturalist perspective even inanimate
14:35
atoms have come to reflect upon
14:37
themselves it it it is an extraordinary
14:40
thing in that sense do you do you feel
14:43
that there’s still an element of mystery
14:45
there or are you happy to say no I think
14:47
we really can I think we really can it’s
14:50
a puzzle yeah and and it’s what I call
14:52
the hard question our problem with the
14:54
hard question the hard question is and
14:56
then what happens that is all right
14:58
you’ve got this analysis of information
15:01
coming in from the census for instance
15:03
and then what happens there’s a whole
15:07
story to be told about how we use it how
15:11
it modifies our beliefs and our emotions
15:14
and our memories and our personalities
15:16
and what we say next what our projects
15:19
are and mostly even scientists have sort
15:24
of stopped when they’ve stopped in
15:27
consciousnesses if that was the finish
15:29
line no no that’s not the finish line
15:31
that’s only halfway through and we have
15:33
to do and then what happens and only
15:36
when we can explain how consciousness
15:39
not only moves our bodies and gets our
15:43
lips moving but but feeds back on itself
15:45
and permits us to reflect and reflect
15:49
and reflect and reflective reflect and
15:51
it’s only when you’ve got an account of
15:53
the actual brain mechanisms that make
15:56
this incredible reflective capacity
15:59
available then you’re really beginning
16:02
to explain consciousness Keith as an
16:05
idealist then what’s your problem with
16:07
this particular account of the way that
16:08
the material brain can quite
16:11
satisfactorily account for all of our
16:13
conscious states and that sort of thing
16:15
well first of all to begin with I
16:17
absolutely think it’s important to take
16:20
scientific knowledge about the brain and
16:22
about the world seriously and I do want
16:25
to do that I don’t want to include that
16:29
in some preordained idealist picture but
16:34
I want to understand how it is that the
16:38
physical structures of rain interact
16:40
with consciousness
16:41
having said that I’m I don’t either
16:45
think that we have infallible knowledge
16:48
of what’s going on in our minds
16:50
consciousness and I agree that a lot of
16:53
what we’re conscious of is caused by the
16:57
rain and if something is wrong with your
16:59
brain then typically something is wrong
17:02
with what you understand your
17:04
consciousness to be so it’s not an
17:07
infallible thing consciousness but I
17:10
think it is a thing in the broadest
17:12
sense that is to say if you made a list
17:15
of the items that exist in the universe
17:17
and you had electrons and quarks and
17:19
super strings and whatever and brains of
17:22
course you would also have to add and
17:23
consciousness because I don’t really I’m
17:27
not convinced that a study of the brain
17:31
will ever answer the question how
17:34
consciousness originates I don’t see how
17:38
that could be done because
17:40
you could say well when the brain when a
17:44
brain if some sort is in a certain
17:46
configuration then the consciousness
17:48
occurs that seems to me to be a causal
17:51
relationship which is contingent it
17:54
could have been different you know
17:56
because to explain that a bit more
17:57
what’s the problem with the idea of
17:59
consciousness arising by a particular
18:01
you know combination of neuro chemicals
18:05
well because the combination of neurons
18:07
and chemicals is exactly that and you
18:09
could know all about that and not know
18:11
about there being any consciousness I
18:13
mean we take an example which appeals
18:17
for me about an ant right thing of
18:20
announces it is an out conscious well I
18:22
really think we don’t know I don’t think
18:25
answer conscious personally but I really
18:27
don’t know guy if I ask that question
18:28
I’m asking whether there is something
18:32
about an ant that physical inspection
18:35
cannot discharge I don’t think any
18:38
physical inspection of an ant will tell
18:40
you whether it’s conscious right that’s
18:42
so that that’s how I’ve seen it’s
18:44
something you can only experience
18:45
directly well you know that’s the
18:47
problem for an idealist that you can’t
18:49
ever experience directly anybody else’s
18:51
consciousness but I do think that I
18:54
experience directly my own consciousness
18:56
and that I know when I’m aware of
18:59
something not infallibly but at least I
19:01
know when I’m aware and I think that’s
19:03
something additional to any physical
19:06
description in what’s happening right it
19:08
sounds a bit like what Pete’s describing
19:10
there I could be wrong is is something
19:11
along the lines of the hard problem of
19:13
consciousness is earned and you want to
19:15
explain what that is and what a response
19:17
to it is why you don’t think it so the
19:21
philosopher David Chalmers dubbed
19:24
something the higher problem capital
19:26
aids have a capital P and it’s just the
19:29
problem that Keith outlined that is what
19:32
is there in addition to the adroitness
19:33
of the hand which David doesn’t saddle
19:37
anything is it conscious hmm and how do
19:42
we tell the difference between a zombie
19:44
which is just as animated as Keith there
19:48
but for all we know is unconscious
19:53
I think this is a subtle trick a sort of
19:58
like a magician’s trick which gets our
20:01
imaginations off on the wrong foot I
20:03
don’t think there is a hard problem
20:05
it’s just Chalmers baptism of this hard
20:09
problem which has got people convinced
20:11
there’s a hard problem when he first
20:15
introduced it I said this is just
20:17
vitalism reborn after all there’s the
20:21
hard problem of whether something’s
20:23
alive how do we know the ants alive you
20:26
say well look at it well that doesn’t
20:27
prove it it might just be a robot I mean
20:31
maybe it’s a zombie or maybe it’s not
20:33
even alive now physicists biologists
20:38
they don’t argue about this the line
20:41
between living and not living is not an
20:45
interesting theoretical line we’ve
20:47
learned what our proteins alive are
20:49
motor proteins alive or are they just
20:51
little robots cells are alive yeah how
20:56
about viruses don’t ask we understand
21:00
that the complexity gradually creates
21:03
things which are manifestly alive
21:05
amoebas are alive and you we don’t have
21:08
to create a strict cut off and it’s a
21:10
lion there’s no a lone V tau there’s no
21:13
extra substance that you have to put in
21:16
there that distinguishes the living from
21:18
the unliving as many people thought
21:20
those were the vitalists and I think the
21:22
Chalmers and I’m Keith here on it on his
21:26
own expression there they’re remaking
21:29
the vitalist mistake and now they simply
21:32
moved up a notch and they say there’s an
21:35
extra soup song of something which is
21:38
consciousness which has nothing and
21:42
Thomas is very clear about this has
21:44
nothing to do with all the things that I
21:46
study about consciousness I’ve nothing
21:47
to do with the ability to answer
21:49
questions or to have your memory
21:51
adjusted or to change your beliefs or
21:53
become you know get converted
21:55
religiously all of those things those
21:57
are the easy problems of consciousness
21:59
the only problem this left over is
22:01
whether you’re conscious and in that
22:04
sense it looks exactly like vitalism
22:06
hmm and when I put it to david that
22:11
there that’s what it is he said no it
22:14
isn’t it the problems are entirely
22:15
different and well we don’t have David
22:19
here but we do have here so so Keith
22:21
what what do you make of the way that
22:23
Dan has laid out the hard problem of
22:24
consciousness there and for you well I
22:26
don’t think vibrate ISM is a problem of
22:28
any sort I mean because as far as I can
22:31
see described everything is living is to
22:33
talk about its reproductive capacities
22:35
and it’s behavioral capacities and
22:38
that’s okay and I think you can have a
22:40
very shady boundary in deciding whether
22:43
you call a bacterium alive or not but
22:46
consciousness is not like that it’s not
22:48
it’s not a decision about whether to
22:50
call something a lot unconscious or not
22:53
it’s a real fact you want to know do
22:56
ants have feelings and a feeling is
22:58
something that I know I have feelings I
23:01
started life as a musician so to me
23:04
music is very important and music is
23:08
consciously perceived I mean if it
23:10
wasn’t consciously perceived I wouldn’t
23:12
be interested in it right so so whatever
23:14
is going on in my brain to produce me
23:16
enjoying music that doesn’t explain my
23:21
enjoyment of the music that’s an inner
23:23
experience that nobody else can share
23:25
and how I think of vogner’s ring is
23:28
totally different from the way that some
23:30
other people think of it but it’s the
23:31
same experience the same things are
23:34
happening the same electrochemical
23:36
wavelengths are going along and that
23:38
same neurons of firing perhaps and is it
23:40
the case that in your view the the fact
23:44
that you could look at a person’s brain
23:46
when they’re listening to vogner and say
23:48
oh I can see neurons firing and brain
23:51
chemistry going on but that cannot be
23:54
equated with the same thing as the
23:56
experience of hearing me exactly it
23:58
can’t I it’s not an identity
24:01
there’s no identity between finding
24:05
blood flow and brain or electrical
24:07
activity in the brain and whatever it is
24:09
that they’re enjoying when they enjoy it
24:12
in that sense it’s a qualitative
24:13
difference no qualitative difference and
24:16
also one which is it’s not like vitalism
24:18
because it’s not
24:20
vitalism there’s nothing extra which
24:21
makes something alive you describe it by
24:24
describing the biological facts but I do
24:26
think that with consciousness there is
24:28
something extra and that could be a
24:30
zombie I mean there could be a person
24:32
just like me but it wasn’t conscious and
24:35
I’m nothing I probably could be somebody
24:38
could write well and you’ll get the same
24:39
problem with a robot if you made a robot
24:41
which which you couldn’t tell the
24:43
difference in this famous Turing test
24:45
you couldn’t tell the difference we it
24:47
and a human being that would still be a
24:50
question which you couldn’t resolve is
24:52
it actually having experiences and you
24:56
wouldn’t be able to answer that question
24:57
and this is a live discussion obviously
24:59
with the advent of artificial
25:00
intelligence and soldiers yes but but
25:03
ultimately when it comes down to it the
25:06
fact that you think you cannot equate a
25:08
brain state with the actual experience
25:10
of listening to Wagner or seeing the
25:13
color red or whatever it might be means
25:15
that for you this consciousness is
25:17
something qualitatively different from
25:19
the material well it’s not only that you
25:21
see it’s not it’s not just a
25:22
hypothetical thing it’s that what makes
25:24
my life worthwhile is my conscious
25:27
experiences and how I cope with them and
25:30
my brain I go along with whatever people
25:33
tell me about my brain and that might be
25:35
very important but it’s not what I’m
25:37
primarily concerned with I’m fascinated
25:40
know what happens in my brain when I
25:42
listen to vogner but what I’m primarily
25:44
concerned about is how meaningful it is
25:46
to me and the difference it makes to my
25:49
life and that that is something no
25:51
physicist but then you should be
25:55
interested in asking the hard question
25:57
and then what happens so the music is
25:59
very meaningful to you so now there’s
26:01
lots of things going on in your brain
26:03
which are in fact embodying that very
26:07
meaningfulness that very responsiveness
26:11
the fact that it makes a difference and
26:12
here if we look at cases of brain damage
26:17
we see people who are have locked-in
26:19
syndrome or were in a comatose or
26:22
vegetative state and there’s all sorts
26:24
of different varieties of this if you be
26:26
an Adrian Owens wonderful book on this
26:28
and and here’s a question for you
26:32
suppose you were in one of those
26:33
terrible states and you’re listening to
26:36
Weiser
26:36
and if you’re really in a deep coma then
26:42
I think you would say well then I’m not
26:44
conscious of course and it doesn’t
26:46
matter what what’s happening in my brain
26:48
I I’m not enjoying it even all right so
26:53
now we raise the lavabit raise the level
26:55
a bit and this is analogous to moving on
26:58
up through from proteins to the selves
27:01
and to the hands and so forth and at
27:03
some point no not at some point that we
27:07
can point to with a sharp line we’re
27:09
going to see a gradual accrual of the
27:12
very things you’re talking about the the
27:15
responsiveness of the meaningfulness how
27:18
it makes your life worth living
27:20
something can’t make your life worth
27:23
living unless it has an effect on your
27:25
brain it just can’t and if you
27:29
understood those then you would see that
27:33
there was no charmed line where this
27:36
something extra got added there’s just
27:39
more and more of making your life worth
27:41
living and and there are almost
27:45
certainly are states that you could be
27:47
in for instance your loved ones might
27:52
say play vogner through headphones into
27:56
his ears this this will give him solace
27:59
and they may not be able to tell now
28:03
whether this is giving you solace but if
28:09
they could read your brainwaves they
28:11
might be able to say yes yes see look at
28:13
the these are the reactions of a person
28:16
who can enjoy who is thrilled by the
28:20
music even though he can’t talk even
28:22
though he can and so there’s every
28:26
imaginable variant from dead comatose to
28:32
wide awake thrilled and at no point does
28:37
a special extra thing called
28:40
consciousness come into it
28:41
well I’m not at all happy about that I
28:47
agree that there of course there are
28:48
different degrees of consciousness I
28:50
agree also that there is the brain works
28:53
and solves problems and things when
28:55
you’re not conscious I mean I agree with
28:58
that so I agree there is a causal
29:00
connection between the brain RBI in my
29:03
view the brain does exist I’m not an
29:07
idealist you said there’s no brain and
29:11
the brain gives you access and if it’s
29:14
working normally
29:15
it will give you the access that we call
29:17
full consciousness if it’s unusual in
29:20
some way then that affects the quality
29:23
of your consciousness so I see this as
29:24
an access the brain is an access and
29:27
machine to consciousness so to put this
29:30
quite bluntly if somebody suffers from
29:33
Alzheimer’s then their memories are not
29:37
retrievable by the brain the brain has
29:39
no access to those memories but I
29:40
actually think those memories continue
29:42
to exist but not in the physical brain
29:45
that’s my view yes why do you think
29:48
that’s such a you know well why do you
29:50
disagree so strongly with that view then
29:53
well Keith talks about the brain gives
29:56
you access who boots us you you are your
30:02
living brain close enough there’s
30:06
there’s no extra cartesian race kaga
30:10
tans that has access through the pineal
30:12
to some parts of something’s going on in
30:16
the brain what what access has to mean
30:18
in a naturalistic contact is is that in
30:24
effect some parts of the brain have
30:26
information that is retrievable by them
30:29
usable that in that modulates their
30:31
behavior or not and the these access
30:35
relations are being mapped out very
30:37
clearly these days there’s still some
30:39
major puzzles but when you talk about
30:44
Alzheimer’s for instance we can talk
30:47
about the gradual dissolution of paths
30:51
of access that are normally there and
30:53
that play very important role
30:55
but there’s never a place where we say
30:58
and here’s where the access to you as a
31:03
as an ego as a as the inner witness
31:07
comes into the picture that is the image
31:11
which is deeply ingrained in our way of
31:14
thinking and it’s just time to learn how
31:17
to as far as you’re concerned then that
31:19
that idea of personal identity is an
31:21
illusion we are simply the accumulated
31:24
product of our our brain stays in that
31:26
sense if we’re anything it’s not an
31:30
illusion in the sense that there isn’t
31:34
continuing Keith and the continuing
31:37
Justin but it is an illusion if you
31:41
think that there’s a sort of an
31:43
essential nugget which is which is you
31:46
which which just happens to be in this
31:50
body or just happens to be in that body
31:52
that idea which is a very familiar idea
31:56
from religions theologically we might
31:58
call this the soul and you’ve written on
32:02
the concept of the soul so you what’s
32:04
your view on this idea of the soul I
32:05
mean only if ever and this moves on
32:08
through a second level the first level
32:10
of discussion really was whether there
32:12
are things like perceptions and thoughts
32:14
and feelings which you might say could
32:18
exist as in Buddhism or as in David Hume
32:20
perhaps as a series of somehow linked
32:24
perceptions thoughts and feelings and so
32:26
you’ve got a this without a selfless
32:30
series hmm and then it said the second
32:33
stage you say well is there anything
32:35
that holds this series together and I do
32:40
believe in our day lists and do lists –
32:43
though I’m not a duelist but ideas and
32:45
Julis both think there is you have to
32:47
talk about not just a series of
32:49
experiences not infallibly known and not
32:52
necessarily all connected together but
32:54
there is something which enables that to
32:57
be to be known as a series so my
32:59
experiences are the things I remember
33:01
the things I’d look forward to and again
33:04
today an example from music if I
33:07
here the last chord of a Beethoven’s
33:10
Symphony I hear it as the last chord of
33:12
a symphony which is very different from
33:14
just having an experience of a chord so
33:18
memory is linked somehow and this is a
33:20
great problem for people in some
33:23
Buddhist schools who think of the self
33:25
in the chain of experiences and you have
33:27
to say well then there must be something
33:30
which is a subject and here is a subject
33:34
of experience so experiences are
33:37
possessed by something now I think
33:40
Daniel you might say the brain or part
33:42
of the brain and I think no it’s not
33:46
nothing physical you see that’s the
33:47
point so I I wouldn’t call this
33:49
supernatural but it’s not physical mmm
33:52
so it’s supera natural and it doesn’t
33:57
come within the physical realm of public
34:01
verification and and the thing that the
34:04
subject that is experiencing and
34:06
remembering and looking forward to this
34:09
is the immaterial me innocence yes it is
34:12
it is it is not a material thing it
34:15
cannot simply be the brain that it’s not
34:17
her own so I strongly don’t believe that
34:20
I am my brain I think my brain is part
34:24
of me I do think that and I just think
34:27
I’m essentially embodied run
34:29
nevertheless I do think I am essentially
34:32
a subject of experiences and what’s
34:36
going on when when you’re having and we
34:38
can’t avoid this this language of I and
34:40
you and me it’s it’s deeply embedded as
34:43
you say Dan but nonetheless you think
34:45
we’re wrong to sort of assume that there
34:47
is a a ghost in the machine as it were
34:49
there is the ghost in the machine what
34:52
there is is information an information
34:56
that is organized and that uses memory
35:01
and anticipation to organize that
35:05
information and that can be considered
35:09
to be the sort of software that’s
35:11
running on the brain and when you learn
35:13
a new language you greatly enhance your
35:18
carpet
35:19
as your talents and your proclivities
35:21
and everything else this is like
35:24
downloading another app to your to your
35:27
to your hardware yeah right now the the
35:31
brains are hardware but the organization
35:34
of the brain is the software and that
35:38
what we can do as human beings depends
35:42
very much on the software that we’ve
35:44
downloaded through culture on our
35:46
language and on all our reading and and
35:48
the the tricks that we’ve learned and
35:51
the tools that we’ve learned how to use
35:52
all of that has to be embodied in the
35:57
brain but it’s information it can be
35:59
passed from person different doesn’t
36:01
weigh anything it’s like poetry it’s a
36:04
but but sticking with this computer
36:07
analogy I guess when I use a computer I
36:09
can see the hardware and I know what the
36:11
software does and the way it processes
36:13
everything but there still has to be a
36:15
me that it means anything – it won’t
36:17
mean anything – the computer is just a
36:20
computer yes there’s a user who’s the
36:23
user of the brain and the answer is the
36:26
brain the brain consciousness is the
36:28
brains user illusion of itself and it
36:31
needs it it needs it in order to
36:35
simplify the task the brain is too
36:38
complicated in its myriad details and
36:41
the world is too complicated for the
36:44
brain to deal adroitly with it so the
36:46
brain has been designed to have user
36:50
interfaces inside it that simplify it so
36:53
that it so that it makes things easy to
36:57
track easy to deal with easy to recall
36:59
the same way that the screen on your
37:01
laptop makes them you don’t want to know
37:04
the complexities of what are going on
37:05
inside your computer so you have this
37:07
very handy very effective user interface
37:11
so called user illusion and that’s what
37:15
consciousness is it’s a user illusion
37:18
that is designed by evolution and by
37:21
learning and by cultural evolution to
37:23
make our brains useful capable in a
37:27
sense yeah of getting our bodies through
37:30
this car
37:31
the world yes see at that point I have
37:34
to say that what you call an illusion is
37:36
to me the most important thing there is
37:38
and I am even going to give you that
37:45
this is this is a Wilfrid Sellars
37:49
concept of the manifest image there’s
37:52
the scientific world of quarks and and
37:55
protons and atoms and molecules and so
37:58
forth and then there’s the manifest
37:59
image the world of people and tables and
38:02
chairs and and music and songs and faces
38:06
and beliefs and promises and all that
38:08
good stuff
38:08
that’s the most important level and all
38:12
of that the very existence the very fact
38:16
that we have these categories is due to
38:19
this brilliant summarization and and
38:26
extraction of important details from
38:30
this blooming confusion of atoms that is
38:34
described by the scientific image yeah
38:37
well my sense of the importance of my
38:41
experience would be vastly undermined if
38:44
I thought it was really all completely
38:46
caused by a blooming conglomeration of
38:49
atoms well because that has no purpose
38:53
laws of physics self completely
38:55
purposeless they just operate in
38:57
accordance with whatever principles of
39:00
regularity there are so you lose the
39:02
notion of purpose really purpose is part
39:04
of the illusion of you’re in your inner
39:07
experience you have purposes but
39:09
actually the brain doesn’t so if you’re
39:12
going to say this is produced by the
39:14
brain then you’re really saying well the
39:16
reality is not purposive you just think
39:18
you have purposes well no in fact that’s
39:22
in some ways the main theme of my latest
39:25
book from bacteria to Bach and back
39:28
because one of the central philosophical
39:31
themes in that book is showing how a
39:34
purposeless process natural selection in
39:38
the purposeless physical world gradually
39:41
creates purpose
39:43
and how we have purposes our tools have
39:50
purposes our limbs have purposes our
39:52
eyes have purposes nature is awash in
39:56
purposes they’re not generated from the
40:01
top down by the great purpose giver of
40:03
God they emerge from the bottom up from
40:07
a purposeless process that’s the genius
40:10
of Darwin’s idea right well I think
40:12
that’s a heroic project it is it is but
40:17
I don’t think it’s a possible one and
40:21
tell us why tell us why well because and
40:23
purpose if you think there’s something
40:26
flies was called intentionality but
40:28
you’re you’re thinking of there is you
40:30
have an idea in your mind and you’re
40:32
going to say write a book next year and
40:36
so you think you have an idea of your
40:38
mind you’re writing a book next year but
40:39
this idea refers to something that’s
40:42
future it’s not something that’s
40:43
actually present so the eye you don’t
40:48
give it a complete description of the
40:50
idea by just describing what’s actually
40:51
in your mind at the moment right because
40:54
it has to refer to the future okay and
40:56
it’s very difficult I think for a
40:59
materialist or a naturalist to say what
41:01
it is about physical processes which
41:04
don’t refer to the future because how
41:06
could they work what would that mean the
41:10
concept of something in your present
41:13
behavior being determined by the thought
41:15
of something which doesn’t exist in the
41:17
future and the purpose is you trying to
41:20
get that so the our dear looks as to the
41:24
common sense as though your your idea is
41:28
having a causal effect what’s your idea
41:30
of the future mmm having a causal effect
41:32
and I don’t think a physical description
41:34
can cope with that idea which which is
41:38
about the aboutness it’s a hug I know
41:42
you I mean I know that you you will come
41:44
back to in a moment then but but from
41:46
your point of view Keith what I’m
41:47
hearing is that that the idea of purpose
41:51
has to have a a reality to it that it
41:53
simply can’t have yes in a purely
41:55
physical X well
41:56
Daniel says it emerges but the sense of
41:58
purpose emerges from the from an on
42:00
purpose of background and I think it’s
42:03
such a different concept it’s the idea
42:05
of causation by an idea of the future
42:07
hmm she’s very different from causation
42:10
by being pushed from the past and what
42:13
other problems for you emerge when we as
42:15
it would do away with your concept of
42:17
personal identity because I mean this
42:19
might be a good point at which to start
42:21
talking about free will and moral agency
42:24
and that sort of thing
42:24
well along with purpose the other the
42:27
other thing that correlates with it is
42:28
the idea of value now at this point
42:30
again we might have a disagreement here
42:33
because I do think that one of the
42:36
important things about human life is
42:38
that there are values which we don’t
42:41
invent so that that’s a basic
42:43
philosophical option I think that you
42:46
say values are objective in the sense
42:49
that some things really are worthwhile
42:51
are null value even if nobody thinks
42:54
they are mmm and that in thinking of a
42:58
moral value you ought to be charitable
43:00
for example that is true I think that’s
43:03
amore I think that’s a moral truth and
43:05
you can discover that it’s true you
43:07
ought to be charitable it’s not
43:09
something you decide or invent and so
43:12
that that’s another basic philosophical
43:14
it’s an option really but if you’re
43:16
going for the option of there being
43:18
objective values that correlates with
43:20
purposes because your purpose is to
43:23
achieve something of value so they go
43:25
together purpose and value and I can’t
43:26
see that they would enter into any
43:28
physical description of the brain or of
43:31
anything and so in that sense this this
43:33
value that we believe exists
43:35
independently of you know our brain
43:38
States or anything else I’m not the word
43:40
independently I mean it’s obviously not
43:42
there is that causal connection and but
43:46
it’s objective and as you say a
43:47
subjective I think I would believe and I
43:51
think again it’s not decidable and
43:54
neutrally but I believe that there are
43:57
moral obligations on people whether or
44:00
not they think there are and that is a
44:03
truth about the universe and does this
44:05
can this only make sense in the
44:09
personal identity the idea that we are a
44:12
person who has as well yes it is it’s
44:14
nighttime and is not in a sense just to
44:16
a value is not a part of a physical
44:18
catalogue of things and it correlates
44:20
with a purpose purpose is to obtain any
44:23
value so that correlates with agency and
44:25
that correlates has idea of a subject
44:28
self which is other than just a stream
44:30
of experiences which was actually aims
44:32
to produce values all those things
44:34
connect together I think this will take
44:36
us into the whole area as well of
44:38
determinism and freewill and so please
44:41
do respond yes what he’s adopting is I
44:46
think quite clearly a sort of top-down
44:48
theory of purpose he doesn’t think it
44:50
can bubble up from purposeless processes
44:53
the way Darwin and and people who are
44:56
Darwin Ian’s like me would say and and
44:59
he says he doesn’t see how this
45:02
future-looking purpose could ever be
45:04
accounted for in terms of the something
45:07
like the Darwinian purpose as a
45:09
Darwinian process you should learn about
45:14
Bayesian predictive coding it’s the big
45:19
bandwagon in cognitive neuroscience
45:22
right now which is precisely how the
45:26
brain is always always anticipating
45:30
projecting forming hypotheses in effect
45:33
about what’s going to happen next and
45:35
then checking those hypotheses against
45:38
the data coming in this is how our
45:40
brains get the adroit nough sand the
45:43
real-time capacity that they do they’re
45:45
always they’re designed to look ahead
45:48
they’re designed by Darwinian processes
45:51
to anticipate the future based on the
45:56
experience of the past and since the
45:58
future isn’t always just like the past
46:00
they make mistakes but they are also
46:03
designed for those very mistakes to
46:05
feedback into the system and correct
46:07
those mistakes so the brain operates as
46:11
a generator of anticipations which are
46:16
then tested against the world which and
46:19
it’s a constantly
46:22
revising sort of a moving target about
46:25
trying to get trying to get the
46:28
immediate future right and then of
46:29
course that in turn permits us to have
46:32
long-range goals in the future another
46:34
thing you said Keith is you you thought
46:36
there were values that we’re not as it
46:40
were human maybe because human beings
46:41
maybe didn’t even realize that they had
46:43
these values but there’s no reason why
46:48
something that is ultimately a human
46:53
construction a human artifact can’t have
46:58
surprises in it the game of chess is
47:01
certainly a human construct and yet
47:05
people are still learning things that
47:08
you can and can’t do in chess so there’s
47:10
there’s plenty of of discovery and even
47:15
something as simple as chess and the
47:18
idea that the moral code that we have
47:21
evolved over the last let’s say 50,000
47:26
years that it’s been changed it’s been
47:29
improved no help to it from religion
47:33
there by the way religion has dragged
47:34
its feet along the way all the
47:36
improvements from Old Testament morality
47:38
today have been hard won by rational
47:42
arguments and largely fought by the
47:46
churches but we’ve learned better than
47:50
that old we’ve constantly improved our
47:53
sense of morality and that can go on in
47:55
the future and we may learn doesn’t the
47:57
word improve suggests there is some
47:59
objective standard to which oh yeah
48:01
heading oh yes and in the same way that
48:04
there’s a there’s an when when they keep
48:10
it very simple I want to deliberately
48:12
have a simple example when they added
48:15
the castling rule to chests they
48:17
improved the game of chess why well
48:20
because people who are the chess players
48:24
found the game sort of too slow if you
48:29
didn’t have this room it was it just
48:30
made the game more wonderful more
48:33
interesting
48:34
similarly there are practices which were
48:41
not only condoned but even required in
48:45
Old Testament morality which we’d
48:47
completely shunned today we would never
48:49
dream of aving that way well don’t just
48:52
see things – responses oh yeah because
48:54
computers can’t play chess very well of
48:56
course and they could beat me any type
48:57
of people you could beat me any day of
48:59
the week but I don’t think computer
49:02
would say well I play chess because it’s
49:03
more interesting and gives me a sense of
49:06
you know well so I don’t think comedies
49:14
were play chess unless they were made –
49:15
I mean people pay chess for fun and you
49:19
that’s not something that machines do
49:21
they don’t do things for fun and so I
49:25
know yet
49:26
well I think you’re taking I think here
49:29
what you’re doing is taking a bet on the
49:31
future you’re saying I bet that brain
49:34
science will develop in such a way that
49:36
it will show that all these things can
49:38
be dumped everywhere by machine and I
49:41
suppose my bet is that that’s not going
49:43
to happen and you could get some of the
49:48
zombie which acted like a robot and like
49:51
a human being but self felt and
49:53
experienced nothing and didn’t get
49:55
thrilled by things that were happening
49:57
or invent new moves because they were
49:59
excited or just appear to be thrilled
50:01
oh just appear to be and it would do it
50:03
would guide its life by its being
50:07
thrilled by this yes but that still
50:09
wouldn’t be the NAM be was was
50:14
indistinguishable from normal
50:17
consciousness externally and
50:20
distinguished internally it is
50:23
decisional there you never know because
50:25
it was probably trained to tell you that
50:27
it had deep feelings so I think we’re
50:30
getting into the area of artificial
50:32
intelligence and sense but but coming
50:34
back to your your view that this
50:36
objective moral realm exists and I think
50:39
Dan’s view well we can simply explain
50:41
that by an evolutionary history which
50:43
helps us to interact better and so on
50:46
and and and we don’t discover
50:48
these things they’re they’re simply
50:51
emergent like everything else in our
50:53
experience and he has critiques
50:55
obviously if the of religion and the Old
50:57
Testament in terms of saying well we can
50:58
certainly see that we’re better off now
51:00
with the morality we’ve developed over
51:02
the thousands of years of course I mean
51:04
I have to say that I think Jesus had
51:06
something to do with that that
51:07
improvement and that we haven’t yet
51:09
lived managed to live up to any of the
51:11
things that he said about it so I don’t
51:14
I mean religion yes okay there isn’t
51:16
very ambiguous felon but if if the
51:18
religion is about the person who taught
51:21
something like the Sermon on the Mount
51:23
we’ve got pretty implement that very
51:27
clever man yeah very good so for me
51:33
goodness
51:33
is a quality of the universe that is to
51:38
say that not that the universe is all
51:40
perfect I don’t mean that I mean that
51:43
the obligation to seek goodness is is a
51:47
fact about the universe and I can’t put
51:49
that into a physicalist account of the
51:54
universe I can’t see how it would fit
51:56
whereas well if I can introduce the word
51:59
God it laughs I think if you if you had
52:02
the mind of God of the mind of the
52:05
Creator then the obligation to achieve
52:10
true goodness not some arbitrary command
52:13
that God made up that obligation would
52:16
fit into a picture of the universe as
52:18
founded on a morally obliging reality
52:24
which would be a mind and it wouldn’t be
52:26
a brain I mean nobody thinks there’s a
52:28
cosmic brain so I think if you’re
52:31
wanting to rule out the idea of God by
52:34
definition by saying well there couldn’t
52:35
be such a brain I agree I couldn’t so
52:39
that comes down to the question just as
52:41
a thought experiment well could there
52:43
not be a mind which did not like human
52:46
minds depend upon the good function of a
52:49
brain and I don’t see why not
52:52
well alright I’ll go along with you on
52:55
that say alright I don’t think I can
52:57
offer an octree or you know
53:00
proof that there couldn’t be a
53:01
disembodied mind but I don’t see how a
53:04
disembodied mind of God could ground
53:07
morality at all why why should we care
53:10
what a disembodied mind thought we
53:13
should do I mean if I tell you Lucille
53:16
says this you shouldn’t do that well
53:18
who’s Lucille not and in fact what could
53:21
matter more than what we we human beings
53:26
after careful consideration and in
53:29
concert what we decide this is what’s
53:33
worth living for why doesn’t that what
53:36
could trump that oh I think I think God
53:39
could jump that Oh Lucille was actually
53:43
perfectly good herself and created us
53:47
and had a purpose for us which would
53:50
fulfill everything about our lives then
53:53
if this you said do this we’d say that’s
53:55
probably yes indeed but that makes
53:58
Lucille
53:59
you’ve just defined the answer this is
54:01
no you’ve you just helped yourself to a
54:05
problem solver by defining it as a
54:07
problem solver yes but I didn’t make
54:09
this opera it’s been around for somebody
54:11
maybe when race yes the idea of God is
54:15
like the idea of quantum realities
54:19
somebody made it up that doesn’t mean
54:21
that it’s not true
54:22
let’s move on to freewill we need to
54:26
because we really must touch on this
54:28
before we have to close our conversation
54:30
and now would you describe yourself as a
54:34
determinist at Dan yes in all that
54:39
matters I mean I’m happy to go along the
54:43
physicist I know that there’s quantum
54:45
indeterminacy but I don’t think it makes
54:46
any difference for free will and
54:48
determinism is essentially the view that
54:51
every everything can be explained by the
54:54
previous states of things and that in a
54:56
sense careful you have I’d say that very
54:58
carefully because there’s there’s
55:02
explanation then there’s explanation mmm
55:05
flip a coin a fair coin nobody can
55:10
predict whether it’s going to come down
55:11
heads or tail nobody can predict it
55:13
not because it’s quiet I’m unpredictable
55:16
but because the forces acting on that
55:20
coin involve the position of electrons
55:22
at the edge of the visible universe it’s
55:24
just beyond the calculation it that’s an
55:28
epistemic point but you keep reading for
55:31
me but the coin will will will be a
55:33
random flip all this a so is it an
55:35
undetermined coin flip no is it a random
55:38
coin flip yes but in a sense if you
55:42
could in principle describe every single
55:46
force its actual coin then you could
55:49
predict what which side it will come
55:51
down and in a sense when it comes to the
55:55
question of the mind and consciousness
55:57
and freewill the view that everything is
56:00
ultimately determined by the physics of
56:02
the universe means that a lot of people
56:04
have a question mark over what that does
56:06
for us our the fact that we think of
56:10
ourselves as free agents moral agents
56:12
even our very act of reasoning and
56:15
having conversations if it’s all in a
56:16
sense being determined there’s a real
56:20
question that arises of can we make
56:23
sense of anything then if if if in fact
56:26
everything we do say think feel has at
56:29
some level been decided a long time ago
56:32
by the physical attributes of the
56:34
universe simply rolling out in a
56:36
predetermined way so you’re a
56:38
compatibilist though when it comes to
56:40
your view of freewill perhaps you’d like
56:42
to explain how you come to terms with
56:44
this question around free will and
56:45
determinism from a compatibilist point
56:48
of view yeah the notion of freedom that
56:52
is incompatible with determinism is not
56:56
the notion of freedom that matters the
56:58
notion of freedom that matters is the
57:00
engineering notion of freedom the notion
57:01
of degrees of freedom right now you have
57:05
many degrees of freedom there are lots
57:07
of different ways in which you can move
57:09
your parts and move your lips and so it
57:11
has nothing to do with determinism and
57:14
what we want to do is look at which
57:17
systems in the world are autonomous and
57:20
which systems in the world are in fact
57:23
being controlled heteronomously by some
57:25
other controller
57:27
if I haven’t drone and I’ve got the
57:28
little box I am in control of that drone
57:31
it is not autonomous it’s its activities
57:34
are being determined by me they are
57:36
being controlled by me however I may be
57:40
able to throw a switch which makes it
57:42
autonomous it is no longer in my control
57:45
and it is then no longer in the control
57:48
of anything else except itself it’s the
57:53
cause is raining down on it and you know
57:56
the gravity and the wind and all the
57:58
rest of that those let us suppose
58:01
they’ve been determined since time in
58:03
the world it doesn’t matter an
58:05
autonomous system can be designed to
58:09
deal with those in fact it depends on
58:13
the reliability on the predictability of
58:15
all of those forces and to some degree
58:18
it samples those in order to improve its
58:21
control over the situation now what we
58:24
want to be as free agents is we want to
58:26
be autonomous we want we don’t want
58:29
somebody else pulling our strings I have
58:33
a have a little cartoon of a puppet
58:36
that’s making its legs move by by
58:39
pulling strings on its legs that’s what
58:42
we are we are self controllers and it’s
58:46
it’s really a bad trick of the
58:51
imagination to think that if determinism
58:55
is true then nature is pulling our
58:57
strings mmm because nature is not an
59:01
agent Nature doesn’t care
59:02
Nature doesn’t have foresight about what
59:05
it wants us to do so that there’s a
59:07
sense in which then we we have freedom
59:09
in the senses meaningful for us
59:11
absolutely but if if we’d simply were
59:13
able in some way to rewind the clock 30
59:15
seconds would we have exactly the same
59:17
conversation with exactly the same words
59:19
with exactly the same movements because
59:21
that is what would have had to have
59:23
happened in a sense how we determined in
59:25
that sense if we could rewind the clock
59:27
perfectly
59:28
yes but that’s not interesting there’s a
59:33
famous footnote in JL Austin’s
59:36
where he talks about lining up a putter
59:39
on the putting green and he strikes it
59:43
and he misses it and he says well but I
59:46
could have made it and he and and he
59:50
says and this does not depend on
59:53
anything like if I tried harder or
59:57
something like that
59:58
on that very occasion with exactly that
60:01
situation I could admit it and then he
60:04
says a very important thing he says and
60:06
and experiments could prove that out
60:09
well what quantum mechanical experience
60:12
know clearly what he has in mind is we
60:14
could line up the putt ten times in a
60:16
row right there and his friend says well
60:19
let’s see and sure enough eight out of
60:21
ten times he makes it
60:23
but those precisely aren’t the same now
60:26
they’re not occasions but that’s what
60:28
matters what matters is the robustness
60:30
of our abilities if you could make that
60:33
putt under opening up different
60:35
circumstances highly reliably then
60:38
there’s a sense in which you could have
60:39
done it otherwise and if you if not then
60:43
you couldn’t have done it and that’s the
60:45
sense that matters and it is neutral
60:47
with regard to determinism
60:49
you’re not a determinist are you keen oh
60:51
I’m a libertarian in this respect which
60:54
means in exactly the same situation to
60:59
at least two different alternative
61:02
futures are possible so they if you were
61:05
around the clock you know and did the
61:07
putt again under exactly the same
61:09
conditions you might get a different
61:11
note you could get ink they’re getting a
61:12
different difference well it wouldn’t
61:15
have such make a difference but if you
61:17
thought that you have an alternative set
61:20
of futures and that is under your
61:23
control which one of those happens that
61:26
makes a difference yes but I believe
61:29
that no you don’t say that because you
61:31
you say if you perfectly rewound it no
61:35
you can’t do that but I mean if it’s a
61:37
thought experiment obviously but but I
61:38
think I think your view is key to and as
61:41
a libertarian then when it comes to free
61:43
will you believe we we do have genuine
61:45
free will attitude to I think one of the
61:48
rules in English
61:49
and I think in American law too is that
61:52
you can only be guilty of something if
61:54
you could have done otherwise now that’s
61:56
precisely that JL Austin quote you use
61:59
but I think lawyers would interpret this
62:02
to mean I at that time he didn’t have to
62:08
do the things he did nothing made him
62:11
not even himself he didn’t make himself
62:13
do that he he should not have done it he
62:17
did what he should not have done that
62:18
that’s the problem that people like me
62:20
would struggle with is guilt
62:23
attributable to what people do because
62:26
if there’s a sense in which you know
62:29
people are determined at some level by
62:31
it that’s in chemistry or their previous
62:34
brain states or just the physics of the
62:36
universe there’s a sense in which they
62:38
cannot be culpable for doing things
62:39
wrong they were bound to do those things
62:41
if somebody said to me and people have
62:43
believed this that God sends people to
62:45
hell but he’s created them in order to
62:47
senator hell I would feel morally
62:50
affronted but I’m not but my moral
62:53
affront would be based on the fact that
62:55
if people do go to hell must be their
62:58
own choice and not God’s choice so now
63:01
you do have somebody pulling the strings
63:03
it’s not just nature on this sort of
63:06
view there is a personal being who’s
63:08
doing that to you and you fear affronted
63:11
that there being should not have done
63:13
that hmm and I think it’ll libertarian
63:15
would say and of course God’s not like
63:17
that anyway but people should not do the
63:20
things they do and there is also the
63:23
David Hume point that actually
63:26
determinism it is just unprovable you
63:29
can’t you can’t show that everything has
63:32
to happen the way it does unfortunately
63:34
for the libertarian if a free choice
63:38
really involves the conditions you say
63:41
then how could you be responsible
63:44
because you can’t determine which choice
63:46
you make that is all of your previous
63:50
education suppose it does not determine
63:53
it does not determine in other words I
63:55
assume that you’ve been raised to be a
63:59
a very moral and non non violent man not
64:03
volunteers if if we were to hand you a
64:08
gun right now and I wish to suggest to
64:11
you well why don’t you shoot Justin in
64:18
our I’m not gonna get thank you data
64:21
straight this part yeah just to prove
64:23
you have free will shoot him in the arm
64:25
now I might surprise you you might but
64:30
you won’t and you won’t because you know
64:35
better and your prior experience makes
64:39
this I’d bet very very large sums of
64:42
money you’re not going to do it and and
64:44
it’s going to be a free choice and you
64:48
just better hope that it’s not an
64:51
undetermined choice because if it were
64:53
then you might suddenly find yourself
64:55
doing it in spite of all of your
64:57
previous ah my view is not that you
64:59
would find yourself doing it but that
65:02
you could decide to do it which is very
65:04
different well who’s the you that’s
65:07
doing this well I’ve gotta you you see
65:08
you might not have you just got a brain
65:14
so I’ve gotta sell this subject self
65:16
which is the soul in Christian terms is
65:20
also an agent self so it has a certain
65:23
agency which it decides between courses
65:28
of actions so it is not determined by
65:30
its pathway if you know in the kata I
65:32
would not actually shoot Justin but
65:34
there are things I would do to Justin if
65:36
you ask them to and I’m feeling worried
65:39
here better carry well and I might
65:43
decide and some of them were I might
65:45
vote for example if you say could you
65:47
inflate how much it costs you to get
65:49
here by train and and so make a bit of
65:51
money on the side well I might have
65:54
realistic you might not be the most
65:56
moral person you might might be as moral
65:58
as you think I am so I might say well I
66:01
decided to do this and it would be
66:03
nothing I’ll pass would make it the case
66:06
that I was going to decide in a
66:08
particular I would at that moment make a
66:10
decision I mean I mean when and when Dan
66:12
says
66:13
the fact that you were brought up to be
66:15
a moral person and you’ve got a good
66:16
education and so on for you those aren’t
66:19
determining things those even if they
66:21
strongly insula wrongly influencing
66:23
there’s a way that you do need your life
66:24
but they’re not in a sense determining
66:26
the attitude though I agree with a
66:28
generally Aristotelian view that habit
66:31
actually constrains virtue so that you
66:34
if you have learned to always be
66:37
understanding life there’s a better
66:39
chance you’ll continue to do an honest
66:41
thing but nevertheless there are tipping
66:43
points and when people are put in crisis
66:45
situations as they can be then and I
66:48
think that’s fine so I think the type of
66:50
determinism we’re talking about is
66:52
different as far as Keith’s concerned
66:54
it’s it’s not a hard determinism in the
66:56
sense of the that the type of physical
66:59
determinism that perhaps you believe
67:00
ultimately governs everything Dan if
67:02
Keith has been raised in a moral
67:04
environment that’s an influence rather
67:06
than a determining factor of how he will
67:09
behave well of course still do otherwise
67:11
yes and if he did otherwise we’d want to
67:15
know what determined him to do otherwise
67:19
it’s decided well but the decision can’t
67:23
happen without something happening in
67:25
the brain and either that thing that
67:26
happened in the brain was undetermined
67:28
was a quantum event of some sort that
67:31
was really it was the amplification of a
67:34
quantum event or it wasn’t and quite
67:37
frankly I don’t see why it makes any
67:39
difference one way I’ve put this I’ve
67:41
said suppose I’m you’re really going to
67:46
hate this example I give you two robot
67:50
babysitter’s these are going to take
67:52
care of your grandchildren so you really
67:54
care about whether they’re any good
67:56
robot a is deterministic but has a
68:05
random number generator which it uses
68:08
all the time to get itself out of
68:11
puritans ask situations in its
68:13
calculations and it’s wonderfully
68:17
carrying an adroit and then for seeing
68:19
in it it’s it’s a really expert
68:23
at caring for and cheering for
68:25
grandchildren robot B has exactly the
68:30
same software running on exactly the
68:33
same hardware but instead of having a
68:35
pseudo-random number generator it has
68:37
genuine radium randomness in it so that
68:41
it there is a sense in which it is
68:44
undetermined
68:46
while the behavior of a is determined
68:49
now tell me if you had to entrust the
68:53
lives of your grandchildren to one of
68:55
these would you have any reason to
68:57
prefer robot be over robot a you prefer
69:00
a but that’s because one B is governed
69:03
by randomness and I don’t want people to
69:06
be random well if it’s undetermined than
69:08
its random no no it’s not one should use
69:13
expression sufficiently determined and
69:15
if something is sufficiently determined
69:17
then if you have this set of causes you
69:20
are bound to have this effect I think if
69:23
it’s not sufficiently determined and and
69:25
I think a person morality this is where
69:30
morality becomes very important for me
69:31
that people are guided by whether
69:33
they’re going to do something because
69:35
it’s right or not and in if you had a if
69:39
you could make a robot which could
69:41
consider moral questions both both a and
69:44
B do that do you think oh that’s what I
69:48
doubt I doubt if a robot could consider
69:52
the reality of an issue and if it did I
69:54
would treat it as a person I mean if I
69:58
if we could apart from the moral issue
70:01
for me one of the interesting questions
70:02
that the idea of determinism raises is
70:05
is whether we can be speak of reason and
70:08
rationality yeah you’re an atheist dan
70:11
but if all our past events are
70:14
physically determined at some level
70:15
isn’t your decision to be an atheist
70:18
simply an accumulation of those past
70:20
events and you haven’t in a sense
70:21
decided to be away from it you are
70:23
simply the product of but what a
70:25
simulation is it it is one it’s been
70:29
accomplished by machinery that has been
70:32
designed
70:32
and by evolution over billions of years
70:35
to do a very good job of telling truth
70:38
from falsehood and of not drawing
70:41
unlicensed about conclusions we’re do
70:46
you think of think of an eagle for a
70:49
moment the Eagles I very high fidelity
70:53
very high accuracy it is a brilliant
70:56
truth discover about the things that
70:59
matter to Eagles and then it puts them
71:02
to great use we have wonderful senses
71:05
too and we can but not only can do we
71:08
rely on them we have learned how to
71:11
improve on them in hundreds of ways we
71:14
have eyeglasses and telescopes and
71:16
microscopes and all sorts of scientific
71:19
devices and methods truth seeking
71:22
methods now it’s undeniable that we use
71:27
those not perfectly but my decision to
71:31
be an atheist is the product of that
71:35
whole development of truth seeking
71:40
processes and that’s why it is but but
71:43
keep something Keith is obviously is
71:45
also the benefit benefactor of all those
71:49
same processes down through the
71:51
millennia and he’s chosen to be a
71:53
Christian so in some sense isn’t
71:56
ultimately if everything is ultimately
71:58
determined that you you were going to be
72:01
here and have this conversation you know
72:03
if you were around the clock perfectly
72:04
it would all happen in exactly the same
72:06
way isn’t your decision to be an atheist
72:08
Keith’s decision to be a Christian
72:10
ultimately simply a factor of that is
72:12
there’s no ultimate sense in which we’ve
72:14
freely chosen anything in our life and
72:17
therefore can we not speak of the
72:18
reasons and leave the truth working and
72:20
so on value maybe there’s an ultimate
72:24
sense of freedom in which neither
72:26
neither Keith no I know you were free
72:28
but that’s not one that cuts any ice
72:31
when it comes to the question of whether
72:32
we have reasons what do you think about
72:35
this key I think reasoning is difficult
72:39
indeed I think it’s impossible to
72:41
account for in purely physical terms
72:43
because
72:45
to try and think about somebody to
72:47
decide whether it is true have a hard
72:49
problem of some sort that is not like
72:53
handing it over to your brain to solve
72:56
it’s it’s like doing some really hard
72:59
thinking hmm and it’s that’s the problem
73:02
it doesn’t that seems to be a directed
73:04
process that there is a you which is and
73:07
I think it’s just the brain not the
73:10
physical brain you use a brain so that
73:13
this is what it comes down to I think
73:14
the person the self the soul uses the
73:18
brain and if the brains not operating
73:20
properly it will probably come up with
73:21
the wrong answer
73:22
but if the brain is operating properly
73:24
it it still has freedom in fact that’s
73:27
what the brain exists for so I think
73:29
there’s the soul is very dependent on
73:33
the brain and I don’t deny that at all I
73:36
don’t know either right well you deny a
73:39
soul like obvious no in fact I was
73:42
interviewed once by an Italian
73:45
journalist and the headline in the
73:47
Corriere della Sera the next day was CIB
73:51
amin anima my father depandi piccoli
73:54
robot yes we have a soul that’s it
74:03
that’s right I mean we do have a soul
74:06
the a colleague of mine wrote a book
74:11
with the I think very bad title my brain
74:14
made me do it
74:15
well what else would you want to make
74:17
you do it
74:18
has somebody else’s brain why isn’t it
74:23
altum Utley your brain that made you do
74:25
it in your in your view because I think
74:28
I use my brain I mean I think there’s a
74:30
way through using the brain well that’s
74:34
such a dirty word yes I do believe
74:37
there’s something other than the brain
74:39
which ultimately makes human choices and
74:42
finds human meaning
74:44
has human focuses yes I do and of course
74:48
millions of people think that that’s
74:52
reality itself can exist without the
74:55
physical brain because when you die
74:56
you’ve obviously got the physical brain
74:58
left and belief in immortality I don’t
75:01
think it’s an impossible belief let me
75:03
put it at its minimum I think it is
75:05
possible to exist without this brain and
75:10
this body and I don’t know what ahh
75:14
but then you can’t be mature anything no
75:16
no that’s the information the
75:19
information could be information in my
75:21
brain were perfectly encoded and this
75:25
brain died it could be uploaded and I
75:28
would still have to exist in some
75:30
physical medium well of course at that
75:34
point you have to ask what you in by
75:36
physical because now that we have dark
75:38
energy and dark matter and well it has
75:42
something to do with it because you say
75:43
by physical do you mean something in
75:46
this space and time having these
75:48
nominations and maths etc well perhaps
75:51
not perhaps if you can download it into
75:53
a piece of silicon perhaps you could
75:55
download it into dark matter or
75:57
something but but but I think one of the
76:06
things we know about robots that makes
76:10
them profoundly unlike moral agents is
76:14
that they are potentially immortal
76:18
because you can download all this off
76:21
you can just keep uploading a fresh shot
76:23
you can you can that’s a sort of
76:30
immortality and though your sort of
76:32
information without any oh you gotta
76:36
have it on a hard drive you’re gonna
76:38
have a hard drive that’s it look this is
76:42
a really important moral point I think
76:47
you should never make a you should never
76:53
sign a contract with the robot
76:56
because you know where it’s acting on it
76:59
so not as a surrogate for my videos
77:01
because robots aren’t people they aren’t
77:06
fragile they aren’t mortal like us they
77:09
can be they can just be rebooted the
77:13
next day you can’t you can’t threaten to
77:17
punish a robot you can’t extract and or
77:20
else but when a robot makes a promise
77:23
you’d be a fool to accept it but you do
77:27
see I mean didn’t you just say that we
77:29
could be rebooted as well in principle I
77:31
did yes in a purely immaterial way
77:39
there’s that there’s a form of
77:40
immortality digital immortality in a
77:42
sense that I think it’s preposterous
77:46
that they would be yes if you have
77:50
Beethoven’s symphonies on digital things
77:53
with strings of notes and ones and you
77:55
say well there’s the information so it
77:58
so Beethoven’s Symphony is immortal well
78:00
you’d need to have the kids turn it in
78:03
something that somebody could hear
78:05
before it was very heavy which brings us
78:07
back to to where we started why don’t we
78:09
that wrap this up gentlemen because I
78:12
could go and chat into you both all day
78:13
but but time is against us I just wonder
78:16
at the end of the day whether both of
78:18
your world views that you come to this
78:20
area with obviously are going to
78:21
influence the conclusions you make so
78:24
yeah Keith you’re a theist ultimately
78:27
you’re an idealist and you interpret in
78:31
a sense the world through that lens
78:32
through the idea that there is ultimate
78:35
purpose there is ultimate you know value
78:38
and that explanations cannot simply be
78:42
physical but there can be in a sense
78:44
purpose of explanations for the things
78:47
we do and that kind of thing so in a
78:48
sense you’re you you you’re bound to
78:50
impose then on the physical world that
78:53
you do obviously it recognizes there
78:54
that that that element that that
78:57
theistic way of looking at life that
78:59
that is full of purpose and kind of a
79:02
metaphysical view of reality well that’s
79:04
right I mean when you say impose that
79:07
sounds wrong
79:07
brutal but that’s the way I think it’s
79:10
the filter through which you naturally
79:12
she thinks yeah and that is the in a
79:15
sense what a worldview is so so and when
79:18
you see what Dan does do you equally see
79:21
that he has a naturalistic filter by
79:24
which he then presumably in your view
79:26
reduces all of that stuff to and I think
79:30
these are both highly defensible
79:34
philosophical views which is why I don’t
79:38
think philosophy answers our ultimate
79:40
questions you you you don’t think the
79:44
idealist view is obviously as defensible
79:46
as your naturalist view I think certain
79:48
gratuitous mystery about it and the
79:52
things that Keith thinks are and ad
79:56
better remain mysterious can in fact be
79:59
accounted for quite adequately in a
80:02
naturalistic framework we can make sense
80:05
of purpose we make sense for beauty joy
80:09
love promising death the urge for
80:15
immortality all of these things have
80:19
naturalistic accounts and when we’ve
80:23
given them it doesn’t diminish the
80:26
wonderfulness of life or the
80:28
wonderfulness of people at all the I
80:31
just like to ask one question do you
80:33
regard this as work in progress yet to
80:37
be done I’m to complete this oh sure yes
80:40
yes in that sense do you have faith in
80:42
the naturalistic project that it will
80:44
ultimately describe everything faith in
80:47
the same sense I have faith in engineers
80:50
to make bridges in general fall down
80:52
that’s why I don’t tremble with fear
80:54
when I cross a bridge it’s it’s a faith
80:57
based on evidence and and many people do
81:01
accuse the naturalist sort of that it’s
81:03
protective as being reductionistic
81:05
because ultimately Beauty truth love is
81:07
all ultimately reducible to chemicals
81:11
reducible as a is just a bad word here
81:14
there are levels and levels and levels
81:17
of explanation and you can’t look
81:21
can’t explain dollars to take something
81:25
very mundane you can’t explain the
81:28
economic value of the dollar or a pound
81:32
using atoms and electrons that’s just
81:37
the wrong level at which to explain that
81:39
doesn’t mean that there’s anything as it
81:41
were metaphysically irreducible about
81:44
dollars it just means that if you want
81:46
to explain them you go to row Priya
81:48
level to explain it and for you when it
81:52
comes to explanation ultimately you find
81:53
that you’re more satisfied with a view
81:56
that that goes beyond the natural is
81:58
view I think for me the most important
82:02
kind of explanation is explanation of
82:06
behavior in terms of value that that
82:10
behavior is a explicable in terms of
82:12
seeking to realize a value and that’s
82:16
what’s important in my life and I
82:19
wouldn’t I
82:21
I can’t see the what is most important
82:24
in my life is really an illusion or that
82:26
my sense of being a continuing self
82:28
which makes these decisions is an
82:31
illusion and for that reason I’m
82:33
reluctant to say that I am just my brain
82:38
well certainly neither of you have been
82:42
brainless today it’s been a really
82:44
fascinating discussion thank you very
82:46
much both for being with me on the
82:47
program okay really excellent
82:49
conversation my guests today have been
82:51
dan Dennett and Keith ward but updates
82:55
bonus content and exclusive debate clips
82:57
from the series of sign up at the big
82:59
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83:17
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