David Chalmers

Philosopher
In his work, David Chalmers explores the “hard problem of consciousness" — the quest to explain our subjective experience.

Why you should listen

David Chalmers is a philosopher at the Australian National University and New York University. He works in philosophy of mind and in related areas of philosophy and cognitive science. While he's especially known for his theories on consciousness, he's also interested (and has extensively published) in all sorts of other issues in the foundations of cognitive science, the philosophy of language, metaphysics and epistemology.

Chalmers placed the "hard problem" of consciousness firmly on the philosophical map. He famously challenges materialist conceptions of mind, arguing for an "explanatory gap" between our brains’ physical properties and our minds’ qualia. Elsewhere he has championed the notion of the "extended mind," which argues that the mind is not confined to skin or skull, but plausibly may extend beyond them.

What others say

“It is the only major question in the sciences that we don't even know how to ask.” — James Trefil

David Chalmers’ TED talks

David Chalmers on the TED Blog

Live from TED2014

The hard problem of consciousness: David Chalmers at TED2014

March 19, 2014

“Right now you have a movie playing inside your head,” says philosopher David Chalmers. It’s an amazing movie, with 3D, smell, taste, touch, a sense of body, pain, hunger, emotions, memories, and a constant voice-over narrative. “At the heart of this movie is you, experiencing this, directly. This movie is your stream of consciousness, experience […]

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Live from TED2014

Us: The speakers in session 5 of TED2014

March 19, 2014

Who are we? What are we doing here? Such thoughts plague more than just angst-filled teenagers. In this session, speakers take a piercing look at these and other complex questions, challenging preconceived notions of who we really are (let’s not forget microbes), how the brain works — and how consciousness fits into the equation. Here […]

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