Segments in this Video

Fantasy and Reality: Introduction (00:53)


University of Sheffield philosophy professor Angie Hobbs frames the debate.

Richard K. Morgan: the Pitch (04:54)

A fantasy author, Morgan discusses how readers start believing his characters are real. His rock climbing hobby reminds him of reality. He argues that an objective reality exists, and society should accept the fantastic boundary.

Colin Blakemore: the Pitch (03:34)

Blakemore agrees that objective reality exists, but we can only experience it subjectively. He leads a visual perception experiment demonstrating the brain's interpretation of physics.

Dan Everett: the Pitch (07:07)

Everett discusses Amazonian tribal distinctions between fantasy and reality. He recalls Pirahã members "seeing" beings that were invisible to him and questioning the existence of Jesus. They offer explanations of the world that Westerners would consider fantasy.

Are Reality and Fantasy Distinct? (13:03)

Morgan argues that the idea of morality is a fantasy; we should accept that certain fantasies have personal or social value. Everett distinguishes between objective and social realities, such as currency. Blakemore discusses our capacity to entertain fantasies and addresses the Charles Bonnet Syndrome.

What is Reality and Have We Lost Sight of It? (10:01)

Blakemore argues that an objective reality exists but our perception is subjective. Everett says interpretation is based on cultural values. Morgan asserts that mythology and paranormal experiences have neuroscientific explanations and describes his "belief" in characters he writes.

Does Fantasy Help Build Better Lives? If So, How? (08:55)

Blakemore talks about using fantasy to envision and work toward life goals. Morgan argues that fantasies soften harsh realities like death. Everett discusses high child mortality rates among the Pirahã; they do not fear death.

Credits: Fantasy and Reality (00:21)

Credits: Fantasy and Reality

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In the topsy-turvy wonderland of the postmodern age, many of us are lost. From Baudrillard to blockbusters, cyberspace to statecraft, the contemporary world is a pageant of fantasies. Should we "get real" and see reality as more than cultural consensus, or can we embrace fantasy and build better lives? The Panel Oxford neuroscientist and director of The Human Mind Project Colin Blakemore, anthropologist Dan Everett and dystopian fiction author Richard K. Morgan find fantasy in reality.

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL145276

ISBN: 978-1-64347-142-6

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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