“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.” – Max Planck,  Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944)

On the Limits of Human Knowledge

While not mentioned in the original article, this upcoming book aligns nicely with the mysterian school of thought regarding consciousness that suggests our human primate brains might just not be built to understand the hard problem of consciousness. This also applies to the reality that many findings in quantum physics are extremely counter-intuitive.

Review in full:

What We Cannot Know. By Marcus du Sautoy. 4th Estate; 440 pages; £20. To be published in America by Viking Penguin in April 2017.

“EVERYONE by nature desires to know,” wrote Aristotle more than 2,000 years ago. But are there limits to what human beings can know? This is the question that Marcus du Sautoy, the British mathematician who succeeeded Richard Dawkins as the Simonyi professor for the public understanding of science at Oxford University, explores in “What We Cannot Know”, his fascinating book on the limits of scientific knowledge. Continue reading

Book Review: Introducing Consciousness

If you are looking for a very simple, illustrated book that goes over the basic themes and ideas in contemporary consciousness theory, then this quick read is a great introduction. Written by David Papineau, an academic philosopher  at Kings College (London) it keeps things simple while not at the expense of the ideas’ integrity. 512bpkb45tul-_sx349_bo1204203200_

Hard vs. Easy Problems of Consciousness

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One spring morning in Tucson, Arizona, in 1994, an unknown philosopher named David Chalmers got up to give a talk on consciousness, by which he meant the feeling of being inside your head, looking out – or, to use the kind of language that might give a neuroscientist an aneurysm, of having a soul. Though he didn’t realise it at the time, the young Australian academic was about to ignite a war between philosophers and scientists, by drawing attention to a central mystery of human life – perhaps the central mystery of human life – and revealing how embarrassingly far they were from solving it. Continue reading