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Five Questions with Ned Block

Five Questions with Ned Block

Ned Block, famous for his Blockhead thought experiment, has been studying the human mind and all that comes with it: cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, and consciousness.

We asked asked Ned five questions about himself, his work, and his thoughts on the field of philosophy. Read about his favorite recent scientific breakthrough, the book currently on his nightstand, and more.

5Q Block
  1. What do you hope to see change in science in your lifetime?

    I would hope for better funding for consciousness research and recognition by psychology and neuroscience departments that they need to have faculty in this area.
  2. What’s your favorite scientific breakthrough of the last five years?

    Large language models like ChatGPT do not involve any scientific breakthrough, just smaller innovations coupled with vastly more data and compute, but their successes are informative about cognition.

3. What are you reading or watching right now?

Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady.

4. What’s something our viewers might not know about you?

I’m first in my family to go to college. I started college at MIT in electrical engineering and then switched to physics, finally getting an SB in physics and philosophy.

5. What is your favorite quote? 

“May you live in interesting times”—falsely claimed to be an ancient Chinese curse— resonates because we do in fact live in interesting times.

Check out all of our video interviews with Ned Block here.