Space Time Mind

Philosophy, Science, and a Bunch of Other Stuff

SpaceTimeMind is a podcast by two philosophy professors, Richard Brown(CUNY LaGuardia Community College) and Pete Mandik (William Paterson University), who discuss philosophy, science, and a whole bunch of other stuff, with musical interludes provided by our band, Quiet Karate Reflex.

MindChunk: Time Consciousness and the Problem of the Unopened Einstein Book

Hey, you know what? MindChunk, that's what. The latest edition to our MindChunk video series launches a sneak attack on the nature of time by way of a thought experiment about artificial intelligence and a simulation of Einstein's brain. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

What do artificial intelligence and the physics of time have to do with each other? Richard Brown and Pete Mandik set out to find out and what happened next will amaze you.

Temporal Metaphysics The Musical

Tomorrow we release SpaceTimeMind podcast episode 9, one of several planned episodes on the physics and metaphysics of time. In order to whip your hungry brains into an anticipatory froth, be sure to check out the following classic song-and-dance productions covering such topics as change and temporal becoming, perdurantism vs. endurantism, and McTaggart's paradox. Apologies ahead of time (ha!) for any earworms you may catch from the delightful songs contained below.

First, check out the under appreciated and overlooked extravaganza, "The Tense View of Time and You, Parts 1 and 2," a 2006 musical comedy posted by YouTube user, dapootieman. How this has fewer views than Gangam Style is an eternal mystery.


Second, check out the second installment of the absolutely bonkers show for "kids", Don't Hug Me I'm Scared, informatively entitled "TIME."

Consciousness and Biology

Just how tightly do biological facts constrain facts about consciousness? Are radically alien or machine minds possible? Or is a mind without a brain like a square without corners? We tackle these questions in this latest installment of the MindChunks video series. This is excerpted from the discussion Richard Brown and Pete Mandik had with Eric Schwitzgebel. For the rest, be sure to check out Episode 8: Alien and Machine Minds.

Are there biological requirements on consciousness? Do we know enough about what life is to use it as a meaningful test on what does and doesn't have consciousness? Richard Brown leans toward "yes" while Pete Mandik leans toward "no." This is an excerpt from our conversation with philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel.

Lord of Lightning, Eric Schwitzgebel

We're getting pretty stoked here at SpaceTimeMind central, as we're just a few days away from our next episode, Episode 8: Alien and Machine Minds (with Eric Schwitzgebel). Eric is our first return guest, and the discussion in episode 8 picks up where things left off with Eric in Episode 4: Death and Logic. Things got pretty rowdy in the virtual studio - stormy even - while we were talking about massive lightning strikes creating swamp people and even entire swamp galaxies. See for yourself in this amazing video:

Dramatic event that transpired during the recording of Episode 4: Logic and Death with Eric Schwitzgebel. spacetime mind

Zombie Fight!

In horror movies, a zombie fight happens when two of the flesh-eating undead confuse each other for prey and, despite tearing each other apart, they both go to bed hungry. In philosophy, a zombie fight is exactly the same. In the latest installment of the MindChunk series, watch as Richard Brown and Pete Mandik use all their best zombie moves on one another, while neuroscientist Joe LeDoux kicks back and surveys the carnage.

Phenomenal consciousness is what you know you have when you know what it's like to be you. Zombies don't have any. Richard and Pete each accuse the other guy of being a zombie. One of them is right. But which one?

The Unger Games

The declaration of the death of philosophy du jour comes from Peter Unger in his recent book, Empty Ideas: A Critique of Analytic Philosophy. Glimpse his main ideas in this 3 Quarks Daily interview of Unger. Evident throughout is a pervasive scientism. Apropos of all this, see below the recent MindChunk from Richard and Pete, "Scientist or Philosopher?" (For the longer discussion from which this MindChunk originates, see our video "Scientism.")

Pete Mandik and Richard Brown discuss the question of whether philosophers should be scientists or scientists should be philosophers.