Consciousness . . .
A world appears
The internal now
Is all it has
See it this way
“I am this”
Inspired by Thomas Metzinger’s Book, The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self
We’re used to thinking about the self as an independent entity, something that we either have or are. In The Ego Tunnel, philosopher Thomas Metzinger claims otherwise: No such thing as a self exists. The conscious self is the content of a model created by our brain – an internal image, but one we cannot experience as an image. Everything we experience is “a virtual self in a virtual reality”.
But if the self is not “real,” why and how did it evolve? How does the brain construct it? Do we still have souls, free will, personal autonomy, or moral accountability?
In a time when the science of cognition is becoming as controversial as evolution, The Ego Tunnel provides a stunningly original take on the mystery of the mind.
Scroll down to watch Thomas Metzinger’s TED talk. Includes all slides and visuals from his presentation.
Thomas Metzinger on the Brain Science Podcast
The free podcast version of Brain Science Podcast 67 is now available. It is an interview with German philosopher Thomas Metzinger, author of The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self and Being No One. Dr. Metzinger argues that any credible model for how the brain generates the mind must incorporate unusual human experiences, such as so-called out of body experiences (OBE), and psychiatric conditions. In this interview we explore how OBE and virtual reality experiments shed light on how the brain generates the sense of self that characterizes normal human experience.
Listen to the podcast and download a transcript of the interview here: Brain Science Podcast 67
Thomas Metzinger TED Talk Part 1
Thomas Metzinger TED Talk Part 2