Thomas Metzinger: All About the Ego Tunnel
Marshall (Richard) & Metzinger (Thomas)
Source: Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM
Paper - Abstract

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Interviewer’s Introduction

  1. Thomas Metzinger is full professor and director of the theoretical philosophy group and the research group on neuroethics / neurophilosophy at the department of philosophy, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany. From 2014-2019 he is a Fellow at the Gutenberg Research College. He is the founder and director of the MIND group and Adjunct Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute of Advanced Studies, Germany.
  2. His research centers on analytic philosophy of mind, applied ethics, philosophy of cognitive science, and philosophy of mind.
  3. The MIT Press are about to publish a 2-volume set of the most comprehensive collection of papers on consciousness, brain, and mind available edited by himself and Jennifer M Windt. It gathers 39 original papers by leaders in the field followed by commentaries written by emerging scholars and replies by the original paper’s authors. Taken together, the papers, commentaries, and replies provide a cross-section of cutting-edge research in philosophy and cognitive science.
  4. Open MIND is an experiment in both interdisciplinary and intergenerational scholarship, a Robin Hood style project in which he got the money from somewhere else and threw out the whole material FOR FREE first, for all the poor countries in the world, demonstrating that they could do this faster and better than any electronic journal or publisher.
  5. In this interview he thinks aloud about
    • his long standing interest in consciousness,
    • the epistemic agent model of the self,
    • the ego tunnel as a metaphor of conscious experience,
    • the problem with the idea of a ‘first-person’ point of view,
    • introspective Superman and Superwoman as advanced practitioners of classical mindfulness meditation,
    • why nothing lives in the ego tunnel,
    • what the rubber hand illusion shows,
    • why we’re unconscious and mind-wander most of the time,
    • what the narrative default-mode does,
    • the impact of culture on the ego tunnel,
    • why trendy ‘illusion talk’ annoys him,
    • what dreaming shows us,
    • why AI is ethically dangerous,
    • why meditation and spirituality need the cold bath of good analytic philosophy and
    • the challenges facing young philosophers of cognitive science and what he is trying to do to help them.
  6. Take your time with this one: after all, that ego tunnel, it’s you…


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