Is your sense of reality in fact a hallucination?

Unthinkable: We don’t know how consciousness works, but some theories are better than others

Anil Seth: ‘Things exist. The world is real. It is the way it appears to us in our experience that’s a construction.’

Anil Seth: ‘Things exist. The world is real. It is the way it appears to us in our experience that’s a construction.’

For well over 2,000 years, humans have been puzzled by the nature of consciousness. Is there a little nerve centre in your brain - a “mini-you” directing affairs - which one day science will be able to locate? Or is there a stranger reason for your sense of self?

“Whether there will be a satisfying explanation of consciousness in my lifetime I honestly don’t know,” cognitive scientist Anil Seth tells The Irish Times. But the author of Being You - an acclaimed analysis of our current state of knowledge - does not accept we are as mystified as our ancestors. “This is just rubbish, we know a lot more than we did.”

The Irish Times
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