‘We live inside a self-woven conceptual cocoon that insulates us from raw reality, so every time we look around we see objects outside mind, as opposed to the raw pixels of the tapestry of mind.’
Presentation dr. Bernardo Kastrup
(Speaker, presentation in English)
Perhaps no other disease has a more fundamental bearing on our sense of identity and the nature of mind than Alzheimer’s. It wreaks havoc with the human psyche and one’s sense of self by corrupting the brain. Precisely for this reason, Alzheimer’s raises one of the oldest questions in history, investing it with a renewed sense of urgency: What exactly is the relationship between mind and brain? Surprisingly, in what is called the ‘hard problem of consciousness,’ no one in science or philosophy today has any idea how brain metabolism can lead to conscious experience or our felt sense of self. Yet, we operate under the assumption that it somehow does, for the correlations between brain function and subjective experience are overwhelming. In fact, Alzheimer’s disease is a particularly compelling instance of such correlations, wherein destruction of brain tissue fundamentally alters our subjective experience of life. But is this assumption the only rational and empirically honest framework for interpreting the relationship between mind and brain? In this talk, in the spirit of having ‘another look,’ we will critically review the array of reasons we assume that the brain generates the mind. We will inquire if these reasons are indeed sound in view of logic and the available data, and what other alternatives there might be to rationally make sense of observations. The presentation will not offer definitive answers, but rather invite the audience to take a broader look at the issue, in the spirit of skepticism. It is hoped that such a broader perspective into the nature of self and its relationship to brain function will lead to new insights, for both caregivers and patients, on how to relate to Alzheimer’s disease.
About dr. Bernardo Kastrup
Bernardo Kastrup has a Ph.D. in computer engineering with specializations in artificial intelligence and reconfigurable computing. He has worked as a scientist in some of the world’s foremost research laboratories, including the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories (where the “Casimir Effect” of Quantum Field Theory was discovered). Bernardo has authored many scientific papers and five philosophy books: Rationalist Spirituality, Dreamed up Reality, Meaning in Absurdity, Why Materialism Is Baloney, and Brief Peeks Beyond. He has also been an entrepreneur and founder of a successful high-tech start-up. Next to a managerial position in the high-tech industry, Bernardo maintains a philosophy blog, an audio/video podcast, and continues to develop his ideas about the nature of reality. He has lived and worked in four different countries across continents, currently residing in the Netherlands.