Excerpts of discussions about David Chalmers's The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory, Thomas Nagel's Mind and Cosmos, and Paul Auster's City of Glass.
What's the relation between mind and brain? What is consciousness? Can science study consciousness, and can evolution really account for it? What is the self and how does this relate to language? All these questions are tackled in these discussions, which were recorded as part of PEL's Not School members-only website (aka PEL Citizenship). Each was recorded by a PEL podcaster (Mark or Wes, for the ones here) in conjunction with 2-5 listeners who joined a Not School group. Not School gives us the chance to cover more material than we have time to tackle as a full PEL group as well as the chance to get to talk with such great people: the listeners involved are often fully as articulate and informative as the guests we've had on the show, with expertise not only in philosophy, but in science, the arts, and other disciplines. (Don't be intimidated though; we've got active Not Schoolers of all levels.) Yes, the recording quality is not nearly as good as for our regular episodes, but you'll get past it.
Read more and sign up at www.partiallyexaminedlife.com/pel-not-school-introduction. This will give you access to the full-length (ca. 90 min) recordings of these, plus lots of supporting forum posts on these readings. Best yet, you can join these ongoing groups yourselves, among many others. New ones are being proposed now to kick off at the beginning of January, so get in there to try to draft people into reading what you want to read (or listen to, or watch).