Alva Noë

Alva Noë appears in the following:

Deconstructing The Philosophies Of 'RoboCop'

Friday, April 04, 2014

In RoboCop, a character named Dreyfus is at odds with one named Dennett. In real life, Dennett is one of AIs great champions, and Dreyfus one of its most trenchant critics.


Do We Know What Life Is?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Life, in all its forms, is amazing. Neil deGrasse Tyson captures some of this wonder in the latest episode of Cosmos. But commentator Alva Noë says he also seemed to avoid the biggest question of all.


Beware Of The Quick-Fix Mirage

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The jury is still out of brain-fitness programs. And this shouldn't surprise us. Getting our heads in shape isn't likely to be easier than getting our bodies fit, says Alva Noë.


What Is The Funniest Joke In The World?

Friday, March 07, 2014

A new book by Scott Weems on humor and human nature raises fascinating questions about why we laugh. Commentator Alva Noë cracks up easily and asks for help collecting some more jokes.


The Limits Of Simulation

Friday, February 28, 2014

Could it be that we are living in a giant, convincing simulation? If so, we've got a lot to be mad about, says commentator Alva Noë.


Electronic Cigarettes And The Appearance Of Smoking

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sometimes a fake cigarette is real. Commentator Alva Noë on why the debate over banning electronic cigarettes turns more on the use of symbols than it does on the facts.


Can Love Be Measured?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A boy plays with a dog. A snail snuggles up in its home. What is love? Commentator Alva Noë says it's an irreducible idea that finds expression in all sorts of unexpected places.


How To Be A Fan

Friday, January 31, 2014

Can you choose to be a fan? Not really. Not if you're honest with yourself. As the philosopher David Papineau notes, choosing a team isn't like choosing a washing machine. With the Super Bowl looming, and his family taking sides, commentator Alva Noë tries to define what it means to be support a team.


Manners Makyth Man

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Oxford English Dictionary is at work on a monumental third edition. Why? We didn't have the OED before the 1850s. Is it so unthinkable that we should do without it going forward? What are dictionaries for, anyway? Alva Noë wonders.


Seeing The World Is Like Dancing With It

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Commentator and philosopher Alva Noë responds to the claim that we only ever know the world as it was, not as it is. It's all a matter of perception and interaction.


On Failing To Spot Gibberish

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The case of Thamsanqa Jantjie, the "fake" sign-language interpreter at the Mandela memorial, raises lots of interesting questions, says commentator Alva Noë, including some about our perception of language.


Do Men And Women Have Different Brains?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Recent work shows there may be differences in the brains of men and women. But what does this tell us about differences between men and women? Not much, according to philosopher Alva Noë.


Science And Its Reality: Take 2

Friday, December 06, 2013

Last week commentator Alva Noë drew readers' ire by suggesting that there is a conflict between science and both religion and common sense. He takes another stab at the matter here.


The Smarter You Are, The Stupider You Are

Friday, November 01, 2013

Numbers tell a story. Would you believe that you're less likely to get the story right the smarter you are? Sometimes that's the case and commentator Alva Noë sees this finding as an argument in favor of an education system that trains our children to be good thinkers, not just good calculators.


Unraveled Ravel Is A Revelation

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Anri Sala's installation at the Venice Biennale explores music, the body, technology, gender and the making of art. Alva Noë says the three-part work is a delightful puzzle, with all the pieces coming together in the end to envelop the audience in a story that is bigger than the sum of its parts.


There's Nothing To Do Here, And It's Perfect

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Robert Irwin's current showing at the Whitney Museum of American Art is astonishing. But why? Alva Noë gives it a good look over and finds that the work is nothing and everything at once.


Seeing Music For What It Is

Sunday, August 25, 2013

We listen to music. But is music a distinctively auditory phenomenon? Recent work in psychology suggests that we experience music as much by seeing it as by hearing it. This shouldn't surprise us, writes philosopher Alva Noë. Music isn't sound; it's action.


What's The Big Deal About Privacy?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Google's announcement that users of Gmail have no "legitimate expectation" that their emails will be kept private is only the latest example of the erosion of personal privacy. This leads commentator Alva Noë to ask: if privacy is so important to people, why do we do so little to secure it?


Beach Beasts On The Move

Friday, August 09, 2013

Theo Jansen's art raises questions about the nature of life and life's limits. His creations walk along with the wind and navigate the shores of the sea. They are made of PVC piping. No one could seriously think these beach beasts are alive. Right?


So, You Think You Can Dance?

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Some birds can dance. These dancing birds can also learn to make vocal sounds by listening to others. They share this ability with humans. But our primate cousins don't seem to be so endowed. Alva Noë asks if there is, indeed, a connection between vocal learning and the ability to dance.