In The Hidden Spring, our guest Mark Solms does not dive too deeply into Karl Friston’s mathematics. As you will discover, he summarises its implications, describing Friston’s free energy as a quantifiable measure of how a system models the world and how it behaves. This notion leads to a very different idea of consciousness from Descartes’s reason-centric version that set up the puzzling dualism of “mind” and “matter”, a la Damasio’s Descartes Error. Mark explores the “cortical fallacy,” which refers to his view that neuroscientists who have argued that the “seat of consciousness” is in the cortex are wrong. Recent neuroscience has shed light on where this is.
As Mark points out, damage to just two cubic millimetres of the upper brainstem will “obliterate all consciousness.”
So where does it “Spring” from?