Mind-Body Philosophy

Mind-Body Philosophy
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24 episodes in this series

Episode 1 Mind, Body, and Questions of Consciousness
The 3.5 pounds of gray matter in your skull processes all the information you need to live and thrive - from the functioning of your physical body to your relationships…
Episode 2 Mind and Body in Greek Philosophy
Humans have been asking this question for thousands of years: exactly how are we related to the world around us? Learn what modern Western thought inherited from the Greeks and…
Episode 3 Eastern Perspectives on Mind and Body
Western philosophers want to understand how the physical brain produces the reality of subjective experience. But Hindu and Buddhist traditions don't recognize that same dualism. Unlike the Western attempt to…
Episode 4 Using the Body to Shape the Mind
We tend to think of the mind being in charge of, and giving instructions to, the body. But is it possible for the body to direct the mind? Learn how…
Episode 5 History of the Soul
While the concept of the soul has been of great philosophical importance over the millennia, it is not addressed by contemporary brain science or philosophy of the mind. Learn why…
Episode 6 How Descartes Divided Mental from Physical
How can you know with absolute certainty that you exist? Rene Descartes famously answered: "I think; therefore I am." He also suggested a complete split between the mind and the…
Episode 7 Mistakes about Our Own Consciousness
One thing we know we can count on is the validity of our everyday experiences. After all, we know what we see, hear, feel, and think on a daily basis,…
Episode 8 Strange Cases of Consciousness
The study of individuals with unusual brains - e.g., those with split brains, color-blindness, face-blindness, synesthesia - has revealed brain modularity, differentiation, blending, and other mechanisms of consciousness. Do we…
Episode 9 Altered States of Consciousness
Learn what dreams, lucid dreams, hallucinations, and other altered states teach us about brain structure and function. Why do so many hallucinations include the same geometric shapes? And after thousands…
Episode 10 Memory, Mind, and Brain
Philosopher John Locke suggested it is your continuous sequence of memories that allows you to be "you." But what is memory and how is it related to our emotions and…
Episode 11 Self-Consciousness and the Self
Throughout the centuries, philosophers and scientists have tried to come to a definitive understanding of the self and self-consciousness - and failed. The exciting intellectual journey through these theories and…
Episode 12 Rival Psychologies of the Mind
William James, Sigmund Freud, and Wilhelm Wundt all aimed for a science of consciousness in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, differing significantly in ideas and methodology. Learn why…
Episode 13 The Enigma of Free Will
Our daily experiences tell us we are acting with a free will. But you'll be surprised to learn what quantum mechanics and the latest studies in readiness potential reveal about…
Episode 14 Emotions: Where Mind and Body Meet
We all know emotions can affect the body - e.g., heart-pounding fear, tears of joy. But can the physical body affect emotions as well? And could emotions be a requirement…
Episode 15 Could a Machine Be Conscious?
Twentieth-century mathematicians Alan Turing and Ludwig Wittgenstein both asked: "Could machines think?" Learn how they addressed the complex concepts of language, thinking, intelligence, and consciousness. All contemporary computers and the…
Episode 16 Computational Approaches to the Mind
Since the development of computers, philosophers and scientists have wondered what we could learn about our own intelligence by building intelligent machines. What would a deeper understanding of computerized information…
Episode 17 A Guided Tour of the Brain
We've made great strides in understanding the workings of the human brain - from our hundred billion neurons and trillions of synapses, to more than fifty neurotransmitters. We've mapped the…
Episode 18 Thinking Body and Extended Mind
We believe our thinking occurs in our head. But that's not entirely correct. In some cases, cognition requires the mind and the body. Learn how the autonomic, sympathetic, and enteric…
Episode 19 Francis Crick and Binding in the Brain
After co-discovering the structure of DNA, Francis Crick turned his research attention to mind-body issues. He believed in an underlying physical structure of consciousness. Was he correct? Learn about Crick's…
Episode 20 Clues on Consciousness from Anesthesiology
Is it possible to be certain that an anesthetized patient who seems to be unconscious during surgery really feels no pain? Our current knowledge of the brain, anesthetics, and consciousness…
Episode 21 Of Mind, Materialism, and Zombies
Distinguished philosophers and scientists have put forth their theories about the mind, brain, and consciousness. But each of us has our own views, too. "Zombie thought experiments" can help identify…
Episode 22 Thought Experiments against Materialism
Physicists and philosophers have relied on thought experiments for thousands of years. But how can we know that the conclusions of thought experiments are correct? Learn what Leibniz' "giant head"…
Episode 23 Consciousness and the Explanatory Gap
What is consciousness? Some scientists describe it as a result of emergence, much as "wet" emerges from a particular combination of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Others propose that neuroscience will…
Episode 24 A Philosophical Science of Consciousness?
If the fields of brain science, philosophy, and artificial intelligence alone cannot adequately explain the relationship between body, mind, and consciousness, where should we look for answers? Explore an exciting…

Related videos

Mind, Body, and Questions of Consciousness
Episode 1 of Mind-Body Philosophy
The 3.5 pounds of gray matter in your skull processes all the information you need to live and thrive - from the functioning of your physical body to your relationships with loved ones. But how can the physical matter of the brain create the subjective experience of your life? That…
Mind and Body in Greek Philosophy
Episode 2 of Mind-Body Philosophy
Humans have been asking this question for thousands of years: exactly how are we related to the world around us? Learn what modern Western thought inherited from the Greeks and how the theories of Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle still affect our thinking and questioning today.
Eastern Perspectives on Mind and Body
Episode 3 of Mind-Body Philosophy
Western philosophers want to understand how the physical brain produces the reality of subjective experience. But Hindu and Buddhist traditions don't recognize that same dualism. Unlike the Western attempt to discover the truth of how things are, Eastern philosophy takes a more practical line of inquiry, examining how to best…
Using the Body to Shape the Mind
Episode 4 of Mind-Body Philosophy
We tend to think of the mind being in charge of, and giving instructions to, the body. But is it possible for the body to direct the mind? Learn how the Eastern practical disciplines of yoga and meditation and Western habits of physical exercise can affect the brain and the…
Emotions: Where Mind and Body Meet
Episode 14 of Mind-Body Philosophy
We all know emotions can affect the body - e.g., heart-pounding fear, tears of joy. But can the physical body affect emotions as well? And could emotions be a requirement for rationality itself? You'll be surprised by the latest research on the very complex relationships between body, mind, and emotions.
Thinking Body and Extended Mind
Episode 18 of Mind-Body Philosophy
We believe our thinking occurs in our head. But that's not entirely correct. In some cases, cognition requires the mind and the body. Learn how the autonomic, sympathetic, and enteric nervous systems are linked to the brain, integrated into the body, and even connected to the outside world.
Memory, Mind, and Brain
Episode 10 of Mind-Body Philosophy
Philosopher John Locke suggested it is your continuous sequence of memories that allows you to be "you." But what is memory and how is it related to our emotions and dreams? Learn about the many different ways in which the brain stores the information we later retrieve and experience as…
Rival Psychologies of the Mind
Episode 12 of Mind-Body Philosophy
William James, Sigmund Freud, and Wilhelm Wundt all aimed for a science of consciousness in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, differing significantly in ideas and methodology. Learn why Wundt left the strongest mark on contemporary psychology, with the neuroscience revolution of the early 21st century picking up where…
Computational Approaches to the Mind
Episode 16 of Mind-Body Philosophy
Since the development of computers, philosophers and scientists have wondered what we could learn about our own intelligence by building intelligent machines. What would a deeper understanding of computerized information processing teach us about the brain? Learn how these lines of inquiry have led to revelations about the differences between…
Of Mind, Materialism, and Zombies
Episode 21 of Mind-Body Philosophy
Distinguished philosophers and scientists have put forth their theories about the mind, brain, and consciousness. But each of us has our own views, too. "Zombie thought experiments" can help identify and clarify your personal views. Are you a materialist, a reductionist, an anti-behaviorist, a dualist? Find out with the aid…
History of the Soul
Episode 5 of Mind-Body Philosophy
While the concept of the soul has been of great philosophical importance over the millennia, it is not addressed by contemporary brain science or philosophy of the mind. Learn why William James encouraged people to believe in the soul if they wanted to, but "exiled" the subject from the concerns…
How Descartes Divided Mental from Physical
Episode 6 of Mind-Body Philosophy
How can you know with absolute certainty that you exist? Rene Descartes famously answered: "I think; therefore I am." He also suggested a complete split between the mind and the physical body. The vast and sharply divided responses to Descartes' dualism still influence the ways in which we address the…