Alva Noë

Alva Noë is a contributor to the NPR blog 13.7: Cosmos and Culture. He is writer and a philosopher who works on the nature of mind and human experience.

Noë received his PhD from Harvard in 1995 and is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also a member of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Center for New Media. He previously was a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has been philosopher-in-residence with The Forsythe Company and has recently begun a performative-lecture collaboration with Deborah Hay. Noë is a 2012 recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship.

He is the author of Action in Perception (MIT Press, 2004); Out of Our Heads (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2009); and most recently, Varieties of Presence (Harvard University Press, 2012). He is now at work on a book about art and human nature.

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9:42am

Fri June 26, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

How Trauma Shapes The World We Know

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Soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — a trauma-induced condition in which individuals experience heightened emotional arousal and anxiety — see a world full of threat.

A new study by Rebecca Todd, and colleagues at the University of British Columbia and the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto, shows that that they really do. That is, they experience the presence of real threats the rest of us cannot see.

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4:23pm

Fri June 12, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Should We Trust Science?

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 4:54 pm

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Cheating in science has been in the news lately. The Office of Research Integrity — which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — punishes on the order of a dozen scientists a year for different sorts of misconduct, such as plagiarism and making up results, according to the founders of one watchdog group.

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8:06am

Fri May 29, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

An Intersection Of Science And Art In Rembrandt's 'Anatomy Lesson'

Originally published on Sat May 30, 2015 1:02 am

Rembrant's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.
Fine Art Images Heritage Images/Getty Images

A couple of years back, my neurosurgeon showed me some snaps she'd made on her flip phone of my open forearm during a surgery she had performed on me.

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9:26am

Fri May 22, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Peering Into Rembrandt's Eyes

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The Late Rembrandt show that closed this past weekend at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is the first exhibition ever to focus on the adventurous and experimental painting of the last 18 years of Rembrandt's life.

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11:49am

Fri May 8, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Silencing Science

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Nikos Logothetis, a director at Germany's Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics and leading neuroscientist working on perception, has announced that he is ceasing research on primates.

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12:11pm

Fri May 1, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

What Else Might We Term 'God'?

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 6:24 pm

NASA/ESA

In her contributions last week to 13.7, guest blogger and author Nancy Ellen Abrams proposed what she calls a new way to define the word "God." You can read the posts here and here.

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12:58pm

Fri April 17, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Reflections On The 'Boys' Of Summer

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 3:23 pm

Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis has the ball but the New York Mets' David Wright is safe on an eighth-inning stolen base in New York on Tuesday.
Kathy Willens AP

The baseball season is well underway now. In the past, I've managed to resist posting to 13.7 about the thrill, the hopes, the excitement, the shamefully partisan delight that I feel with the start of the new season.

This year is different for me, though. For the first time, I'm an assistant coach for my son's Little League squad — and I'm even more steeped in baseball, and its sheer difficulty, than ever before.

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3:20pm

Sun April 12, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Power Of The Screen

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In Kammer Kammer, a choreographic work of William Forsythe and his dancers in the Forsythe Company, some performers wear or carry cameras that send a live feed from the stage to monitors placed in view of the audience around the hall.

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3:39am

Fri April 3, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Why Does The War On Drugs Persist?

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 5:17 pm

U.S. Coast Guard members stand near bags containing approximately 719 kilograms of cocaine in Miami Beach.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

I was chatting with a friend who works as a physician at a large California state prison. He mentioned, in passing, that drug use is pretty widespread at the prison. If you can't prohibit the sale and use of drugs in a maximum security prison, he asked, what are the chances you can prohibit drugs on our streets?

A good argument, it seems to me.

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12:01pm

Fri March 27, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Fight Against Addiction: Is Love All You Need?

Ben Goode iStockphoto

If anything deserves to be called "the establishment view," it is what Johann Hari — in his new book on addiction and the war on drugs, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugscalls the pharmaceutical model of addiction.

The pharmaceutical model says that addiction is about chemicals. Addiction is a chronic incurable disease of the brain. The brain's pleasure centers are hijacked.

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