Utgave: Bevissthet

An Interview With Sebastian Watzl

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A rainy Tuesday morning we arrived at Sebastian Watzl’s office. The appointment was to talk with him about a mouthful of philosophical issues related to attention, his area of expertise. Not long ago, he joined the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN) at the University of Oslo as a postdoctoral fellow, and then, shortly after, as an associate professor contributing to the study of the structure of consciousness. As a travelling man, he has been at all kinds of universities before coming here to Norway. Watzl appeared to us as a down-to-earth, happy-go-lucky fellow. And if you look at his website, you will find the topic of attention all over the place; he researches it non-stop. Yet he is no dull-as-dishwater sprocket faculty member; the man appeared to us as a sagelike fellow, full of meditative insights. But what lies at the back of all this – who is the person behind those glasses and that dark-bearded, friendly face? This, anyhow, is what we set out to uncover, launching the session with some general questions before then focusing our attention towards a deeper level. As it turned out, the real nectar of our conversation only started flowing after the tape recorder was shut off; we carried on talking for an hour. True, missing out on this part could be unfortunate for the readers, but sit tight; a sequel might come before long. For our part, this Tuesday morning was a true philosophical voyage into the dark corners of phenomenal awareness.

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