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Alva Noë

Alva Noë is a contributor to the NPR blog 13.7: Cosmos and Culture. He is writer and a philosopher who works on the nature of mind and human experience.

Noë received his PhD from Harvard in 1995 and is a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also a member of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Center for New Media. He previously was a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has been philosopher-in-residence with The Forsythe Company and has recently begun a performative-lecture collaboration with Deborah Hay. Noë is a 2012 recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship.

He is the author of Action in Perception (MIT Press, 2004); Out of Our Heads (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2009); and most recently, Varieties of Presence (Harvard University Press, 2012). He is now at work on a book about art and human nature.

  • The end of the World Series allows us to revisit baseball's experiment with instant replay. Commentator Alva Noë argues it has been a success — because it makes the game not more fair but more fun.
  • There's a lot of coughing in audiences at concerts and plays. Why? Commentator Alva Noe suggests that the answer has something to do with the importance of art.
  • What rankles so many of Lance Armstrong's detractors is the sense that somehow, he artificially enhanced himself to reach seemingly superhuman heights. Yet the story of modern humans, argues philosopher Alva Noe, is a story of our integration with artificial and mechanical enhancements.