Annual debates

Can Consciousness Be Explained?

Our 2022 annual debate considers whether the problem of consciousness can ever be solved.

How can flesh and blood brains give rise to pains and pleasures, dreams and desires, sights and sounds? Some believe this ‘hard problem’ of consciousness can never be solved. Can we expect any breakthroughs as the science of the mind progresses?

Our annual debate this year considers whether the problem of consciousness really is intractable. Our illustrious panel is neuroscientist Anil Seth and philosophers Louise Antony, Maja Spener and Philip Goff, with the BBC’s Ritula Shah chairing.

  • Speakers

    Anil Seth is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex.
    Louise Antony is Professor Emerita at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
    Maja Spener is Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University of Birmingham.
    Philip Goff is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Durham University.

  • Chair

    Ritula Shah is a journalist and presenter of The World Tonight on BBC Radio 4.