At Home with Literati: Andy Clark & Casey Schwartz

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 - 12:00pm

We're pleased to welcome Andy Clark to our At Home with Literati Series in support of The Experience Machine. He'll be joined in-conversation by author Casey Schwartz.

Click here to join the webinar event on 5/10. No pre-registration required!

Note: we are now hosting on Zoom webinars. You will be prompted to enter a first name and email upon joining. You may then see a window reading "waiting for host to start webinar," but sit tight--you will be admitted as soon as we begin broadcasting live! You will be able to submit questions using the Q&A feature.

About the book: A brilliant new theory of the mind that upends our understanding of how the brain interacts with the world.

For as long as we’ve studied human cognition, we’ve believed that our senses give us direct access to the world. What we see is what’s really there—or so the thinking goes. But new discoveries in neuroscience and psychology have turned this assumption on its head. What if rather than perceiving reality passively, your mind actively predicts it?

Widely acclaimed philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark unpacks this provocative new theory that the brain is a powerful, dynamic prediction engine, mediating our experience of both body and world. From the most mundane experiences to the most sublime, reality as we know it is the complex synthesis of sensory information and expectation. Exploring its fascinating mechanics and remarkable implications for our lives, mental health, and society, Clark nimbly illustrates how the predictive brain sculpts all human experience. Chronic pain and mental illness are shown to involve subtle malfunctions of our unconscious predictions, pointing the way towards more effective, targeted treatments. Under renewed scrutiny, the very boundary between ourselves and the outside world dissolves, showing that we are as entangled with our environments as we are with our onboard memories, thoughts, and feelings. And perception itself is revealed to be something of a controlled hallucination.

Unveiling the extraordinary explanatory power of the predictive brain, The Experience Machine is a mesmerizing window onto one of the most significant developments in our understanding of the mind.

ANDY CLARK is a Professor of Cognitive Philosophy at the University of Sussex. He is the author of six books including Supersizing the Mind, Natural-Born Cyborgs, and Mindware.

CASEY SCHWARTZ is the author of Attention: A Love Story and In the Mind Fields: Exploring the New Science of Neuropsychoanalysis. She contributes regularly to The New York Times and lives in New York City.

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The Experience Machine: How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality By Andy Clark Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524748456
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - May 2nd, 2023