View the universe from a new perspective with the help of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. In this episode we’ll discuss a remarkable book and an equally remarkable idea; the idea that large parts of what we think of as external reality are in fact created by our brains as a sort of theatre in which to place the physical world. The consequences of this idea will turn out to be extremely profound, and may ultimately suggest a new way forward for the science of physics.
In this episode:
Kant – the obscurely-written Critique of Pure Reason – Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics – Kant’s metaphysics question – what is metaphysics? – how is pure mathematics possible? – the certainty of mathematical propositions – a priori vs. a posteriori evidence – Descartes’ Discourse on Method – Descartes’ demon and The Matrix – is the universe real? – the 3D nature of space – the inconceivability of a four dimensional space – Relativity – space is constructed by the brain – life inside a 4D computer simulation – pure vs. empirical may not be a a fixed distinction – the brain is only an object in a space it generates – how much of the physical world is “out there” and how much do our minds generate? – dualism in religion – Descartes’ demon – the pineal gland – how do emotions connect to the physical realm? – the mind generates experience of emotion and of physical reality – solipsism – hemispheric neglect and blindsight – Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – what do we mean by “external reality”? – cogito ergo sum – how do we know we exist? – the traditional Western model of reality – an ongoing process for humanity
The Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant (only tackle this one if you want a challenge!)
Prolegomena by Immanuel Kant (easier than “Pure Reason” but still not light reading)
Discourse on Method by Descartes (very readable)