Whether it's bacteria or consciousness itself, science and philosophy examine a specific object that stands apart from the observer. Art is more collaborative, says Alva Noë. It changes us as we change it.
Can pornography be art? No, argues Alva Noë, because porn is an instrument with a certain function in mind (sexual arousal) and works of art are not instruments.
Alva Noë: Too many cognitive scientists tend to take a 17th century conception of the person as an individual island trapped inside his or her head and we need to break free of that.
There is nothing qualitatively different about the way the Internet is changing our human experience now than the way the invention of writing did some thousands of years ago.
Alva Noë is a writer and a philosopher who lives in New York City and Berkeley. His work focuses on the nature of mind and human experience. He is the author of Action in Perception (The MIT Press, 2004), Out of Our Heads (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2009), Varieties of Presence (Harvard University Press, 2012), and Strange Tools (2015). Noë, who received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1995, is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California in Berkeley, where he is also a member of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Center for New Media. He has been Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has been philosopher-in-residence with The Forsythe Company and has recently begun a performative-lecture collaboration with Deborah Hay. Noë is a 2012 recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and a weekly contributor to National Public Radio's science blog 13.7: Cosmos and Culture.