The New Science of Consciousness || Anil Seth

April 6, 2023

Today we welcome Dr. Anil Seth. He is the Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, where he is also Co-Director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. His research has been supported by the European Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Dr. Seth’s 2017 main-stage TED talk is one of the most popular science TED talks, with more than 13 million views. His latest book, which has received numerous accolades, is called Being You: A New Science of Consciousness.

In this episode, I talk to Dr. Anil Seth about the new science of consciousness. Although we don’t exactly know how or why consciousness exists, Dr. Seth thinks this shouldn’t stop us from exploring its properties. One of the things he explores in his research is the conditions for consciousness. Everyone has their own way of perceiving the world. Perceptual diversity exists and we would be misguided to try and standardize consciousness on a single dimension. We also touch on the topics of intelligence, panpsychism, free will, AI technology, and the after life. 

Participate in “The Perception Consensus”

Website: www.anilseth.com

Twitter: @anilkseth


    • The hard problem of consciousness
    • The value of inner experiences
    • Experiencing is consciousness
    • Panpsychism 
    • The condition for consciousness
    • Neuroscience of consciousness
    • Perceptual diversity
    • Perception Census
    • Can we measure consciousness?
    • Individual differences in experiencing 
    • Experience of free will is not an illusion
    • Cybernetic free will
    • Can artificial intelligence produce consciousness? 
    • The desire to persist

2 Responses to “The New Science of Consciousness || Anil Seth”

  1. Lynda Carlson says:

    SBK – I really enjoyed your conversation with Anil Seth – a lot of food for thought there. Thanks to Temple Grandin (and others) we have some insight into the experience of neuro-diversity from an autism perspective. I was delighted to hear you both speak of perspective-diversity. In 2000 I took trip to the Manu Bioperserve in the Peruvian Amazon. While there we came across the fresh footprints and thin cotton bag of an “uncontacted” native that we had apparently caused to go into hiding. Our guide told us that it was unlikely that we would see this person, and then went on to explain that the indigenous Machiguenga people perceive the world differently than we do. I’ve always been fascinated by this notion, and can’t help but wonder what their experience might be like. Thank you both for bringing this concept to light.

  2. Matt says:

    What a f’ing awesome podcast episode! Thank you! What’s up with the irrational apes weirdo in the YouTube comments?!

    Re the hard problem: does it refer to consciousness or qualia? Or are we defining qualia and consciousness as the same thing? I’m thinking of qualia as disembodied sensation and consciousness as embodied sensation and self consciousness as embodied sensation that you know is yourself.

    A simple organism that has biology capable of producing only disembodied qualia has no experience because experience requires embodiment. Such a creature does not exist to itself, it is pure qualia. In a world of such creatures bodies, or any material things at all, do not exist only pain or hunger or fear or whatever the most primal qualia may be.

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