Great Minds Don’t Think Alike: Debates on Consciousness, Reality, Intelligence, Faith, Time, AI, Immortality, and the Human
by Marcelo Gleiser (editor) 2022
About the Author
Marcelo Gleiser is Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy, professor of physics and astronomy, and director of the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth College. His many books include The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning (2014). He is the 2019 Templeton Prize laureate.
About the Book
Does technology change who we are, and if so, in what ways? Can humanity transcend physical bodies and spaces? Will AI and genetic engineering help us reach new heights or will they unleash dystopias? How do we face mortality, our own and that of our warming planet? Questions like these—which are only growing more urgent—can be answered only by drawing on different kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing. They challenge us to bridge the divide between the sciences and the humanities and bring together perspectives that are too often kept apart.
Great Minds Don’t Think Alike presents conversations among leading scientists, philosophers, historians, and public intellectuals that exemplify openness to diverse viewpoints and the productive exchange of ideas. Pulitzer and Templeton Prize winners, MacArthur “genius” grant awardees, and other acclaimed writers and thinkers debate the big questions: who we are, the nature of reality, science and religion, consciousness and materialism, and the mysteries of time. In so doing, they also inquire into how uniting experts from different areas of study to consider these topics might help us address the existential risks we face today. Convened and moderated by the physicist and author Marcelo Gleiser, these public dialogues model constructive engagement between the sciences and the humanities—and show why intellectual cooperation is necessary to shape our collective future.
Contributors include David Chalmers and Antonio Damasio; Sean Carroll and B. Alan Wallace; Patricia Churchland and Jill Tarter; Rebecca Goldstein and Alan Lightman; Jimena Canales and Paul Davies; Ed Boyden and Mark O’Connell; Elizabeth Kolbert and Siddhartha Mukherjee; Jeremy DeSilva, David Grinspoon, and Tasneem Zehra Husain.
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Some of the most interesting thinkers of our time are here brought together in dialogues and conversations that show them all thinking aloud, in the present and at the cutting edge (or beyond), about some of the most important issues of our time. The results are always entertaining and insightful, and often will spark new ideas in readers. A great contribution to the discourse. — Kim Stanley Robinson, Hugo and Nebula Award winner, author of The Ministry for the Future
These talks and Marcelo Gleiser’s commentary offer readers a thrilling vista of the most important scientific, cultural, and ethical issues facing human civilization. This book is not to be missed by anyone wanting a broad overview of the questions we must answer to move forward as a species. — Adam Frank, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester, Carl Sagan medalist, author of Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth
Lively and enlightening dialogues that engage complementary perspectives on deep issues―an enjoyable way to learn timeless and topical ideas. — Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, author of Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters
In Great Minds Don’t Think Alike, leading intellectual Marcelo Gleisner brings together prominent scientists and humanists to discuss some of the key questions of our age. Not only do these conversations provide important new insights into pressing issues, they also demonstrate the power of cross disciplinary perspectives, and offer a model of civil and fruitful dialogue. — Peter Harrison, author of The Territories of Science and Religion