Ep. 75 – Do We Perceive Reality? | Dr. Donald Hoffman

Do we see reality as it is? Or, are we stuck inside our own mental representations of the world?

My guest this week is Dr. Donald Hoffman, who believes that there’s a 0% chance that we accurately perceive the world. He believes that mental phenomena – consciousness, experience, qualia – is the real stuff that makes up the world, not physical objects.

Guest’s Website

Dr. Hoffman’s TED Talk

Topics Discussed:

2:22 Do we see reality as it is? What do we actually perceive?
5:43 Perception and Natural Selection – Are true perceptions fitter perceptions?
10:02 Are true perceptions disadvantageous?
23:15 Do space and time necessarily not exist?
27:30 Evolutionary fitness of our conceptual system
37:11 Are math and logic fundamental?
41:11 What actually exists?
43:43 What are conscious agents? What is and is not conscious? Is everything conscious?
51:07 Where is the starting point?
59:36 Where does this theory go? To what end/use?

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