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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2:27pm

Fri July 31, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

A Social Media Rumor That Nearly Broke Some Hearts

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 3:41 pm

New York Mets infielder Wilmer Flores.
Julio Cortez AP

No need to be a baseball fan to get caught up in the drama that unfolded before our eyes during the television broadcast of the Mets-Padres game at Citi Field in New York on Wednesday evening.

It wasn't a baseball drama, but a life drama that puts all of us — and our reliance on, and misplaced confidence in, Twitter (and other new technologies of would-be connectedness) as a source of information — on the spot.

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5:38pm

Sat July 25, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Art Of Knowing What You're Looking For

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 2:33 pm

iStockphoto

I have an unusual name. As I've mentioned before in this place, it is difficult or even impossible for me to tell someone my name over the phone. If they don't know it, they can't hear it. It's just too unexpected.

In my experience, this is a quite general phenomenon. We see and hear what we expect to see and hear, at least a fair bit of the time. I don't have to actually hear your response to my "How are you?" to be pretty sure what you said in reply.

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10:02am

Fri July 17, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Our Robot Servants

iStockphoto

Industrial robots are big machines capable of merciless speed and power. In a recent report in Time, a robot "grabbed and pushed" a man against a metal plate at a Volkswagen production plant, crushing him.

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8:29am

Sun July 5, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Awkward Synthesis That Is 'Inside Out'

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 8:03 am

Lewis Black, who voices "Anger," attends the Los Angeles premiere of "Inside Out" at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles.
Dan Steinberg AP

The new Pixar animation Inside Out, directed by Pete Docter (Monster's Inc., Up), is the playful and ambitious story of the emotional life of a young girl, Riley, who is uprooted when her parents move to a new city so that her father can take up a job. Like a lot of science fiction, however, the fiction drags because the science never really makes any sense.

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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

iStockphoto

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

iStockphoto

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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