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Division: Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Course Number: LPSY 3080
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- Social Sciences
This course is an introduction to the scientific and philosophical exploration of subjective experience, what some have called the last great mystery of science. We will examine the relationship between objective brain processes and first-person awareness, findings from psychology and neuroscience, as well as discussing altered states (drugs, out-of-body-experiences), lucid dreams, mysticism, and Western and Eastern philosophy. What is the relationship between consciousness and attention? Can a machine ever be conscious? Is consciousness fundamental in the universe (as Eastern philosophies argue) or did it emerge as matter became ever more complex (as Western science insists)? Is there a stream of consciousness or is it just an illusion? Do we really ever make conscious decisions or are these decisions already made before we become conscious of them? What is this thing we call consciousness and how does it fit into (or can it fit into) the current materialist orthodox view of the universe? Are our brains capable of ever understanding the nature of awareness, or is it forever beyond our reach? These are some of the questions we will be asking during the course.
Open to Undergraduate students.