Leibniz Campus Lecture :: Mill, Mind and Monad: Leibniz and the Problem of Consciousness
If I have a visual experience that I describe as a red tomato a meter away, then I am inclined to believe that there is, in fact, a red tomato a meter away, even if I close my eyes. I believe that my perceptions of spacetime and objects are, in the normal case, veridical-that they accurately depict aspects of the real world. But is my belief supported by our best science? In particular: Does evolution by natural selection favor veridical perceptions? Many scientists and philosophers claim that it does. But this claim, though plausible, has not been properly tested. In this talk I present a new theorem: Veridical perceptions are never more fit than non-veridical perceptions which are simply tuned to the relevant fitness functions. This entails that perception is not a window on reality; it is more like a desktop interface on your laptop. I discuss this interface theory of perception and its implications for one of the most puzzling unsolved problems in science: the relationship between brain activity and conscious experiences. Leibniz anticipated this work by two centuries, with his famous gap, mill and monadology.
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- Registration: www.uni-hannover.de/de/campuslecture
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- The lecture starts at 6 pm in the man building (Lichthof), Welfengarten 1.
- Due to limited capacity of seats, please arrive with an appropriate time of preparation. Registration is closed in case the capacity is reached.
Mechtild Freiin v. Münchhausen
Leiterin Referat für Kommunikation und Marketing
Tel.: +49 511 762 5342