Mind Meld 74 |The Case Against Reality with Dr. Donald Hoffman

Dr. Donald Hoffman is a Professor of Cognitive Science at UC Irvine. His chief areas of inquiry include perception, the nature of reality and the development of a scientific model for consciousness.


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In a way, Dr. Donald Hoffman is doing the grown-up, fleshed-out, fully-realized version of what I do. Instead of speculatively babbling into a microphone, though, Dr. Hoffman is using science to dive into and disrupt core assumptions about the nature of perception, consciousness and ultimately, reality.

More specifically, as a Professor of Cognitive Science at UC Irvine, Dr. Hoffman has taken on a monumental challenge- conceptualizing, developing and testing a scientific theory that places consciousness, not matter, at the center of reality. Of course a proclamation like “consciousness is at the center of reality” begs quite a few philosophically juicy questions – What is consciousness? What is reality? How and why did consciousness evolve to experience the world as it does?

Find out by joining Dr. Hoffman and I in this mind meld!

For a more in-depth primer, check out Dr. Hoffman’s TED talk “Do We See Reality As It Is?”

Musings in this mind meld include – 

  • “If I’m wrong about having experiences then I’m probably wrong about everything.”
  • Is the apple really there when I’m not looking at it?
  • How intuition matures into scientific models
  • Local realism – if particles don’t have definite properties when they’re not observed what does that mean for larger objects?
  • Why we can’t even know an objective reality
  • Physicists versus Cosmologists and how they explain the universe
  • What is an observer?
  • Is the concept of spacetime doomed?
  • Why reality is like a computer desktop
  • The difference between the Simulation hypothesis and Hoffman’s Consciousness model of reality
  • Will AI beat us at art?
  • Information is a product of consciousness
  • Could God be captured in a mathematical model?
  • Are you making decisions or is freewill an illusion?



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