Don Hoffman

Since at least Einstein we have seen spacetime as fundamental. But modern physics, from quantum field theory to gravity, now suggests spacetime is doomed. So, what lies beyond spacetime? We, ourselves, might be part of the answer, writes Donald D. Hoffman [UCI cognitive sciences professor emeritus]. “Who am I? If I glance in a mirror, I appear as a body, as one object among scores in space and time. I feel myself to be immersed in space and time. When I gaze at countless stars on a crisp night, I feel myself shrink to a mere speck that is trekking through space and coasting through time. My immersion is total: space and time are my perceptual reality, yes, but also my conceptual cage. If I challenge myself to imagine something—anything—outside of space or beyond time, I’m stymied. I may as well try to imagine a new color I’ve never seen before. Nothing happens. My confinement within space and time appears complete.”

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