68. Naturalizing Consciousness (with Walter Veit)

In this episode of Tent Talks, I speak with Walter Veit about the science and philosophy of consciousness. Walter is an interdisciplinary scientist and philosopher who is currently completing his PhD dissertation at the University of Sydney, Australia. He has published on a wide range of topics, including the topic of animal consciousness and animal welfare, cognitive and genetic enhancement, nihilism, model pluralism, and other issues in evolutionary biology, the philosophy of science, and applied ethics. Here I speak with Walter about his PhD thesis which explores the evolutionary origins of consciousness and how different dimensions of consciousness are distributed throughout the animal kingdom. Some things that come up in the conversation include the hard problem of consciousness, different metaphysical approaches to consciousness, the question of whether consciousness has an adaptive function or is just an evolutionary byproduct, the integrated information theory of consciousness, and different dimensions of consciousness like self-awareness, sensory experience, evaluative experience, and the unity and temporality of experience. To learn more about Walter’s work, visit his website at the following link: https://walterveit.com

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