EP148 Antonio Damasio on Feeling and Knowing

Jim has a wide-ranging talk with neuroscientist Antonio Damasio about his latest book, Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious. They discuss the importance of separating intelligence from the nervous system, feeling as the inaugural event of consciousness, distinguishing consciousness from mind, the permeability of intellectual & affective processes, debunking William James’s “stream of consciousness” metaphor, interoception, proprioception, & exteroception, how anesthesia works, attention as the cursor of consciousness, introducing vulnerability into AI, and much more.

Antonio Damasio is Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology and Philosophy, and Director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Trained as both neurologist and neuroscientist, Damasio has made seminal contributions to the understanding of brain processes underlying emotions, feelings, and consciousness. His work on the role of affect in decision-making has made a major impact in neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy. He is the author of several hundred scientific articles and is one of the most eminent psychologists of the modern era (see Damasio, A. Feelings and Decisions. In: R. Sternberg, S. Fiske, D. Foss (Eds.), Scientists Making a Difference: One Hundred Eminent Behavioral and Brain Scientists Talk about Their Most Important Contributions, 2016). He is one of the most cited scientists worldwide.