EP 155 Iain McGilchrist Part 2: The Matter With Things



Jim has a second talk with Iain McGilchrist about the ideas in his book The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions, and the Unmaking of the World. They discuss whether the continuity of time matters on the human scale, randomness as a real attribute of the universe, differentiating between unpredictability & randomness, deterministic chaos, the measurement problem in quantum mechanics, consciousness as an ontological primitive vs a biological process, separating consciousness from intelligence, animacy as a matter of degree, a non-reductionist view of purpose, finite vs infinite games & intrinsic vs extrinsic purpose, the purpose(s) of a white-tailed deer, the meaning of teleology, a drive toward increased complexity in life, the self-domestication of humans, relating the many-worlds idea to right-hemisphere damage, reasons to reject arguments from infinity, the odds of extraterrestrial intelligence, the lesson of paradoxes, and much more.

Iain McGilchrist is a former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, an associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Consultant Emeritus of the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital, London, a former research Fellow in Neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Baltimore, and a former Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Stellenbosch. He now lives on the Isle of Skye, off the coast of North West Scotland, where he continues to write, and lectures worldwide. He is committed to the idea that the mind and brain can be understood only by seeing them in the broadest possible context, that of the whole of our physical and spiritual existence, and of the wider human culture in which they arise – the culture which helps to mould, and in turn is moulded by, our minds and brains.