Digital Salon
Portrait of Gerhard Roth during a lecture.
Florian Rötzer in conversation with Gerhard Roth
Fri, October 08, 2021 6 pm CEST, Talk
Language: German

Florian Rötzer talks to brain researcher Gerhard Roth about questions regarding the unity of and connection between mind and body.

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Gerhard Roth assumes that a new conception of man is emerging from brain research. Mind and ego and every other mental state are preceded by neuronal processes, which contradicts the traditional dualism of mind and body, but also does not lead to neurobiological reductionism. For him, there is no principled barrier to explaining all cognitive processes neuronally; it is rather a question of technology.

However, brains can never fully explain brains, which, according to Gödel's incompleteness theorem, also applies to logic. There is a residue of the inexplicable in self-reference. People live in a simulation, in a virtual reality: the brain constructs reality and has no access to the objective world.

Especially with his neuroscientifically based thesis that freedom of will in the traditional philosophical sense is an illusion, he met with resistance because of the criminal law consequences that can be derived from it.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Gerhard Roth is one of the best-known German and European brain researchers. He earned a doctorate in philosophy and biology and became a neuroscientist at the University of Bremen in 1976, where he co-founded the Institute for Brain Research and was its director for many years. He is the author of numerous books, this year »Über den Menschen« was published, in which he deals with philosophical questions from a neuroscientific point of view.

The event will be held in German.

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ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe