CONSCIOUSNESS: THE WEBCOURSE
and ADVANCED SEMINAR: AN INTRODUCTION TO MIND AND BRAIN
Both taught by Dr. Bernard J. Baars
Both courses will run
November 14, 2009 – FEBRUARY 7, 2010
With a Winter Break from December 20 to January 4
“Consciousness: The WebCourse” will meet in virtual webspace each Saturday and Sunday morning from 10am -12 noon, Pacific Time. The Advanced Seminar will meet virtually on Sunday afternoon from 2-4 pm. If you cannot be available in your time zone at those times, we will add an asynchronous Discussion Group. In previous years we have had graduate student volunteers to work with small Discussion Groups, and we will explore that option as well.
If you are interested in consciousness as a rich universe of personal experiences, as a root of the I-Thou encounter with others, or as a scientific subject, this is a state-of-the-art introduction to the field. We will also explore the evidence for altered and higher states of consciousness, hypnosis, dreams, and twilight states. But we will stay with the evidence as we can honestly understand it. There are many ideas about consciousness, and many of them may be true. But they are often based on individual experiences that cannot be shared by other people coming from different points of view. We can only try to understand evidence that is available to any well-informed observer, including sympathetic observations of our own experiences. Obviously we mean no disrespect to other viewpoints, which are often based on the personal experiences of highly dedicated, thoughtful and practiced individuals. Scientific evidence, as we understand it, does not rely on authority. Every bit of evidence and reasoning is available to everyone, to debate or question as they like. What comes out of that process is a residue of consensus that few would challenge on the facts.
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