• Academy Events

  • To Be or Not To Be: The Self as Illusion

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 | 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM
    The New York Academy of Sciences

    Presented by the Nour Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences

    Evidence from studies of the brain and mind point to a construct of the Self resulting from complex neurobiological processes interacting with the environment. If distinct neurobiological correlates of consciousness do in fact exist, does that necessarily imply that the Self is an epiphenomenon and illusion? Furthermore, how do these characterizations of the Self affect the way we represent ourselves, our responsibilities, and our actions in the world?

    Renowned philosophers Thomas Metzinger and Evan Thompson will join cardiologist and expert on near-death experiences, Pim van Lommel, to examine recent developments in neuroscience and philosophy that shed light on whether our conscious experience of a unified Self is reality or illusion.

    View Archived Webcast


    Krista Tippett, MDiv, Creator and Host of Public Radio's Being


    Pim van Lommel, MD, Hospital Rijnstate, The Netherlands

    Thomas Metzinger, PhD, University of Mainz, Germany

    Evan Thompson, PhD, University of Toronto

    This event is part of a 6-part series, Perspectives on the Self: Conversations on Identity and Consciousness, bringing together experts from science and the humanities for an interdisciplinary discussion of the evolving notion and experience of the Self.

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