Nautilus

Flashback: Human Uniqueness

A physicist and a philosopher walk into a lab… no, this isn’t the start of a joke. It’s an everyday occurrence in the lab of Andrew Briggs, Professor of Nanomaterials at Oxford University. While working on how to exploit quantum mechanics to better store and process information, he also maintains an active interest in philosophy, and even has a philosopher working as part of his team. His interests extend into the nature of scientific inquiry, and to the nature of human uniqueness—hearkening back to the very first issue of Nautilus.


How does philosophy play a role in physics?

Well, for the last three years we’ve had a

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Nautilus

Nautilus8 min read
Why Your Biology Runs on Feelings: Think feelings are important? You’re more right than you know.
I have long been interested in human affect—the world of emotions and feelings—and have spent many years investigating it: why and how we emote, feel, use feelings to construct ourselves; how feelings assist or undermine our best intentions; why and
Nautilus2 min read
The Antidote to “Black Mirror” Virtual Reality
Both of Black Mirror’s virtual-reality episodes, “USS Callister” this season and “Playtest” in last one’s, presume VR users will be alone, immobile, and unaware of their true surroundings. They’re rendered unconscious in the real world as they’re bro
Nautilus12 min readScience
Antonio Damasio Tells Us Why Pain Is Necessary: The neuroscientist explains why feelings evolved.
Following Oliver Sacks, Antonio Damasio may be the neuroscientist whose popular books have done the most to inform readers about the biological machinery in our heads, how it generates thoughts and emotions, creates a self to cling to, and a sense of