Alva Noë

See Me if You Can! Art and the Limits of Neuroscience

March 27, 2013

New ways of thinking about the nature of visual consciousness allow us to reconsider art and its place in our lives. In this lecture, Alva Noë, a leading figure in cognitive science, will argue that art is philosophical and philosophy is aesthetic. Against this background, new possibilities are presented for understanding what it is to be a person, questioning if our experience of the world stems from the firing of neurons in our brains or from our interactions with our surroundings.

The Observer Effects series invites thinkers to present their highly integrative work in dialogue with the fields of art and science. This lecture series takes its title from a popularized principle in physics that holds that the act of observation transforms the observed. Outside the natural sciences, the idea that the observer and the observed are linked in a web of reciprocal modification has been deeply influential in philosophy, aesthetics, psychology, and politics.

Curator:: 
Emily Berçir Zimmerman

Alva Noë is a writer and a philosopher living in Berkeley and New York. He works on the nature of mind and human experience. He is the author of Action in Perception (MIT Press, 2004); Out of Our Heads (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2009); and most recently, Varieties of Presence (Harvard University Press, 2012). Noë received his PhD from Harvard in 1995 and is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also a member of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Center for New Media. He previously was a distinguished professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the philosopher-in-residence with The Forsythe Company, a dance company based in Germany. Noë is a 2012 recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, and is a weekly contributor to National Public Radio's science blog 13.7: Cosmos and Culture.

Dates: 
Talk
Alva Noë
Theater
March 27, 2013, 6PM
DATES + TIMES
Press: 

EMPAC 2012-2013 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by continuous support from the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts. Additional project support by the National Endowment for the Arts; the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the New York State Council for the Arts; Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; Arts Council Norway, Fond for Lyd og Bilde, and Fond for Utøvende Kunstner.

National Endowment for the Arts
NEFA - New England Foundation for the Arts
National Science Foundation
State of the Arts - NYSCA