6,600 words Sign up for the Blank Horizons mailing list here. Definitions As in previous essays, I use “perceive,” “observe,” and “experience” synonymously. A “quale” (plural: “qualia”) is defined as the way that a subjective experience feels. We are all very deeply familiar with qualia; we all know what it is like to feel pain, […]Read more "Consciousness and the Binding Problem"
Note: This article was also published on the Scientific American blog. Header image is The Voyage of Life: Old Age by Thomas More, taken from this website. 1,500 words What is consciousness? In a sense, this is one of the greatest mysteries in the universe. yet in another, it’s not an enigma at all. If we […]Read more "Why We Need to Study Consciousness"
3,600 words Sign up for the Blank Horizons mailing list here. Note: The fourth and final part of this series can be found here. Review: Three models of phenomenal time This section covers content that I discussed in Part 2 of this series. Feel free to skip ahead to the next section (“The nature […]Read more "A Very Preliminary Theory of Time and Consciousness, Part III"
2,900 words Header image taken from here. Sign up for the Blank Horizons mailing list here. Three levels of consciousness In defending panpsychism, the view that everything is conscious, philosophers have often distinguished between two kinds of consciousness: (1) proto-consciousness and (2) the consciousness that humans (and likely animals) are familiar with. (From here […]Read more "A Very Preliminary Theory of Consciousness and Time, Part II"
4,000 words Header image taken from here. The relationship between consciousness and time We have invented all sorts of idioms for time. We’re constantly “running out” of it, finding ways to “save” or to “manage” or to “kill” it, fearing that we are “wasting” it, and noticing that it is “flying.” All of these […]Read more "A Very Preliminary Theory of Consciousness and Time, Part I"
2,800 words Header image taken from here. Sign up here for the Blank Horizons mailing list. Supplementary reading: If you are intrigued by the ideas in this article, I strongly encourage you to read “The Intelligent Plant,” a 2013 essay by Michael Pollan that was featured in The New Yorker. Also, this blogpost’s section on plant memory […]Read more "A Broader Conception of Memory"
3,700 words Header image from here. Editor’s Note: Some of the ideas in this article, particularly in the beginning, were inspired by Huw Price’s essay “On the Origins of the Arrow of Time: Why There is Still a Puzzle about the Low Entropy Past.” It’s a great introduction to the subject discussed below, and it’s very […]Read more "The Arrow of Time and the Anthropic Principle"
Kenneth Shinozuka and Dhruva Gupta This article was recently published under the title “Could Alzheimer’s Be a Reaction to Infection?” in the op-ed blog of Scientific American. Header image taken from here. 1,200 words What do people fear the most about getting old? The answer is Alzheimer’s disease. Indeed, a 2014 poll conducted in the UK […]Read more "Why the Prevailing Hypothesis about Alzheimer’s Disease May Be Incomplete"
3,100 words Header image taken from here. Sign up for the Blank Horizons mailing list here. “To be or not to be, that is the question.” – Hamlet “To be and not to be, that is the truth.” – Buddhist Hamlet In the Book of Exodus, God chooses Moses as the leader who will […]Read more "The Logic of the Sacred"
4,800 words Sign up for the Blank Horizons mailing list here. “Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.” – Alan Watts Living forwards and backwards In Richard […]Read more "Time and Being: Part II"