Listen: thought experiments about who or what has a mind

Rick Kleffel sends us his latest podcast (MP3), "A conversation with one of the authors of a wonderful and strange book; science-fiction thought experiments ('robot versus baby') informed by social psychology experiments of fascinating design, part ethics, philosophy, neuroscience, the minds of god and the dead and machines… authentically mind-boggling. And Fun!"

Obviously, we suspect other humans have minds like ours. But, what about animals? What about robots? What about God? And how can we nail any of this down? The late Daniel Wegner and Kurt Gray manage to answer these questions in a book that is beyond thought provoking. 'The Mind Club' is authentically mind-boggling and will absolutely change the way you see the world and those around you.

The book begins with a discussion of the different kinds of minds we "see" around us and just what it means to "see" or be a mind. They divvy up the landscape into astonishingly effective graphs and charts that chart agency (ability to do stuff) versus experience (ability to feel stuff). They explore morality and immorality, how speed affects our perceptions of the intelligence of animals, and explains just how we see the minds of both God and the dead. They annihilate the line between philosophy and psychology, and keep you immersed in their riveting narrative.

The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels, and Why It Matters [Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray/Viking]

[Rick Kleffel]