THE WORLD BEHIND THE WORLD
My first nonfiction book, The World Behind the World: Consciousness, Free Will, and the Limits of Science, is now out. It’s a lot of things for a slim volume, like:
An update to Julian Jaynes’ cult classic The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.
A “big history” account of how literature refined its ability to understand minds at the same time that science was refining its ability to understand the physical world.
Why Freud was the best thing to ever happen to television.
A tour of the neuroscience of consciousness, and where modern theories like Integrated Information Theory (which I worked on in graduate school) fail.
How science is fundamentally incomplete because a scientific theory of consciousness is a Gödel sentence written in the language of empiricism.
An argument for why you have free will based on my work on the mathematics of causal emergence.
“With the ear of a poet and the eye of a neuroscientist, Hoel pioneers a new marriage between the enchantments of literature and the challenges of modern brain science.” - David Eagleman, neuroscientist at Stanford and bestselling author of Sum and Livewired