Brain Inspired
Brain Inspired
BI 111 Kevin Mitchell and Erik Hoel: Agency, Emergence, Consciousness

BI 111:

Kevin Mitchell and Erik Hoel

Agency, Emergence, Consciousness

Erik, Kevin, and I discuss… well a lot of things.

Erik’s recent novel The Revelations is a story about a group of neuroscientists trying to develop a good theory of consciousness (with a murder mystery plot).

Kevin’s book Innate – How the Wiring of Our Brains Shapes Who We Are describes the messy process of getting from DNA, traversing epigenetics and development, to our personalities.

We talk about both books, then dive deeper into topics like whether brains evolved for moving our bodies vs. consciousness, how information theory is lending insights to emergent phenomena, and the role of agency with respect to what counts as intelligence.


0:00 – Intro
3:28 – The Revelations – Erik’s novel
15:15 – Innate – Kevin’s book
22:56 – Cycle of progress
29:05 – Brains for movement or consciousness?
46:46 – Freud’s influence
59:18 – Theories of consciousness
1:02:02 – Meaning and emergence
1:05:50 – Reduction in neuroscience
1:23:03 – Micro and macro – emergence
1:29:35 – Agency and intelligence