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Paul Grobstein's picture

the brain and the universe "as we know it"

Maybe the key here, as we talked about a bit in class, is the "as we know it" phrase.  Yes, "the universe as we know it will cease to be if humans go extinct or evole some new mental capacity"?  Yes, "animals ... exist in separate universes", ones different from the universe as we know it (cf Thomas Nagel, "What is it like to be a bat?").  No, the universe as we know it does not exist for inanimate things.  And perhaps not for many animate things either.  Indeed, maybe the universe as "we" know it does make us less "unique and different from one another" than we actually are/could be/might sometimes prefer?

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