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Let It In with Guy Lawrence

Aug 23, 2020

#133 My awesome guest this week is Donald Hoffman with a mind-bending conversation.

Donald Hoffman is a cognitive psychologist and popular science author, and in this episode, he talks about our perceptions of reality and then makes us question it. Do we see the world as it truly is? How can we understand the relationship between the physical world and consciousness?
Drawing from his inspirations and his own books and papers, Don teaches us about evolutionary theory and how it shapes our perceptions into illusions. In short, how has evolution made our brains perceive reality the way we do? Cool right? I definitely thought so. I hope you enjoy this podcast as much as I did!

About Donald:
Donald David Hoffman is an American cognitive psychologist and popular science author. He is a professor in the Department of Cognitive Sciences at the University of California Irvine, and he studies consciousness, visual perception and evolutionary psychology using mathematical models and psychophysical experiments. His research subjects include facial attractiveness, the recognition of shape, the perception of motion and color, the evolution of perception, and the mind-body problem. (Should I include more Biographical data?)

Key points with time stamp:
  • Don’s work in his own words (5:04)
  • What makes Don passionate about his work? (6:08)
  • Are we getting close to the answers of our difficult questions on this world and our perception of it? (9:53)
  • How important is it to question reality? (11:19)
  • Is there a deeper reality that creates our version of reality? (14:44)
  • How we create Space-Time (20:04)
  • What do we mean by “we?” What is identity? (27:39)
  • Evolutionary theory on how our senses perceive realty and why (31:54)
  • Why is the truth hidden from us? (33:37)
  • Life and the unknown (39:11)
  • Why is the meditative experience stepping into the unknown? (40:26)
  • The effects of a meditation practice on Don’s life (43:48)
  • The reception of The Case Against Reality in the science world (45:44)
  • Don’s morning routine (48:56)
  • What’s next for Don? (49:56)
  • What Don leaves the listeners with (52:22)

So here we have all the main talk points and the time stamps, let me know which ones you’d rather keep and which one’s you think can be skipped.

Mentioned in this episode:

Donald’s Twitter:
Donald’s LinkedIn:

Read more about Donald Hoffman and his work here: