Alva Noë is a writer and philosopher 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. For the last decade, his philosophical practice has been concerned with perception and consciousness. His current research focus is art and human nature.
Alva is the author of Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons From The Biology of Consciousness (Hill and Wang / Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2009) and Action in Perception (The MIT Press, 2004). The central idea of these books is that consciousness is not something that happens inside us — not in our brains, or anywhere else; it is something we do.
Before going to Berkeley in 2003, Alva taught in the department of philosophy at UC Santa Cruz. He received a PhD in philosophy from Harvard University in 1995; he holds a BA from Columbia (1986) and a BPhil from Oxford Universiy (1986). Alva has been a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2007-2008). He is a research associate of the CNRS laboratory at the Institut Jean-Nicod in Paris. In the spring of 2003, he was a fellow of the Oxford Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and in the 1995-1996 academic year he was a research fellow of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University.
NPR: What Art, And The Game Telephone, Teach Us About Copying (includes mention of the CAST Symposium)
NPR: Seeing the World is Like Dancing With It
NPR: What’s The Big Deal About Privacy
The New York Times: Art and the Limits of Neuroscience