WINNER OF THE 2014 BRAIN PRIZE From the acclaimed author of Reading in the Brain, a breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before. In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other cognitive neuroscientists worldwide have accomplished in defining, testing, and explaining the brain events behind a conscious state. We can now pin down the neurons that fire when a person reports becoming aware of a piece of information and understand the crucial role unconscious computations play in how we make decisions. The emerging theory enables a test of consciousness in animals, babies, and those with severe brain injuries. A joyous exploration of the mind and its thrilling complexities, Consciousness and the Brain will excite anyone interested in cutting-edge science and technology and the vast philosophical, personal, and ethical implications of finally quantifying consciousness. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Identifies literature as the richest record of human consciousness, revealing why it is not inconsistent with scientific knowledge and explaining through a series of essays on classic writers what novels can tell readers about the creative writing process. (Literature)
Band 11 des Internationalen Jahrbuchs des Deutschen Idealismus widmet sich dem Thema Bewusstsein. Die Beiträge erörtern das Verständnis von Bewusstsein, Selbstbewusstsein und dem Verhältnis beider zueinander aus Sicht der Vertreter des Deutschen Idealismus und von deren Zeitgenossen. Während diese Themen schon lange mit dem Deutschen Idealismus verbunden sind, erfreuen sie sich in der Philosophie seit einigen Jahren insgesamt wieder eines großen Interesses. Der Band nimmt dies zum Anlass, um sich intensiv mit Fragen zur Möglichkeit, Bedeutung und Rolle von Bewusstsein und Selbstbewusstsein auseinanderzusetzen.
What is consciousness? The answer to this question has been pondered upon, grappled with, and argued about since time immemorial. There has never been an answer that achieved consensus; certainly philosophers have never agreed.In this book, William Lycan defends an original theory of mind that he calls "homuncular functionalism." He argues that human beings are "functionally organized information-processing systems" who have no non-physical parts or properties. However, Lycan also recognizes the subjective phenomenal qualities of mental states and events, and an important sense in which mind is "over and above" mere chemical matter. Along the way, Lycan reviews some diverse philosophical accounts of consciousness-including those of Kripke, Block, Campbell, Sellars, and Castañeda, among others-and demonstrates how what is valuable in each opposing view can be accommodated within his own theory. Consciousness is Lycan's most ambitious book, one that has engaged his attention for years. He handles a fascinating subject in a unique and undoubtedly controversial manner that will make this book a mainstay in the field of philosophy of mind. Consciousness, with these earlier works, is a Bradford Book.
From Perception to Reflection in the History of Philosophy
Author: Sara Heinämaa,Vili Lähteenmäki,Pauliina Remes
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
This collection represents the first historical survey focusing on the notion of consciousness. It approaches consciousness through its constitutive aspects, such as subjectivity, reflexivity, intentionality and selfhood. Covering discussions from ancient philosophy all the way to contemporary debates, the book enriches current systematic debates by uncovering historical roots of the notion of consciousness.
Is there a theory that explains the essence of consciousness? Or is consciousness itself just an illusion? The "last great mystery of science," consciousness was excluded from serious research for most of the last century but is now a rapidly expanding area of study for students of psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience. Recently the topic has also captured growing popular interest. This groundbreaking book is the first volume to bring together all the major theories of consciousness studies--from those rooted in traditional Western philosophy to those coming out of neuroscience, quantum theory, and Eastern philosophy. Broadly interdisciplinary, Consciousness: An Introduction is divided into nine sections that examine such topics as how subjective experiences arise from objective brain processes, the basic neuroscience and neuropathology of consciousness, altered states of consciousness, mystical experiences and dreams, and the effects of drugs and meditation. It also discusses the nature of self, the possibility of artificial consciousness in robots, and the question of whether or not animals are conscious. Enhanced by numerous illustrations and profiles of important researchers, the book also includes self-assessment questions, further reading suggestions, and practical exercises that help bring the subject to life.
For two decades, students and instructors have relied on award-winning author Craig Smith’s detailed description and analysis of rhetorical theories and the historical contexts for major thinkers who advanced them. He employs key themes from important philosophical schools in this well-researched chronicle of rhetoric and human consciousness. One is that rhetoric is a response to uncertainty. The modern philosophers, like the naturalists of ancient Greece and the Scholastics who preceded them, tried to end uncertainty by combining the discoveries of science and psychology with rationalism. Their aim was progress and a consensus among experts as to what truth is. However, where modernism proved ineffective, rhetoric was revived to fill the breach. Another significant theme is that different conceptions of human consciousness lead to different theories of rhetoric, and for every major school of thought, another school of thought forms in reaction. Classic and contemporary examples demonstrate the usefulness of rhetorical theory, especially its ability to inform and guide. By providing probes for rhetorical criticism, discussions also demonstrate that rhetorical criticism illustrates, verifies, and refines rhetorical theory. Thus, the synergistic relationship between theory and criticism in rhetoric is no different than in other arts: Theory informs practice; analysis of successful practice refines theory. Smith’s absorbing study has been expanded to include thorough treatments of rhetoric in the Romantic Era, feminist and queer theory, and historical context for the creation of rhetorical theory and its use in public address.
Consciousness is perhaps the most puzzling problem we humans face in trying to understand ourselves. It has been the subject of intense study for several decades, but, despite substantial progress, the most difficult problems have still not reached any generally agreed solution. Future research can start with this book. Eighteen original, specially written essays offer new angles on the subject. The contributors, who include many of the leading figures in philosophy of mind, discuss such central topics as intentionality, phenomenal content, knowledge of mental states, consciousness and the brain, and the relevance of quantum mechanics to the study of consciousness.
Walling and Hicks make a direct assault on the "Everest" of scientific mysteries. The authors trace the first glimmerings of consciousness in evolution and during emergence from anesthesia. There are no formulae or equations; all the difficult concepts have been presented as allegories and pictures. Unlike many philosophical books about consciousness, they have evidence to back up their ideas. This book is also an attempt to bridge the chasm between science and religion which the authors believe to be largely unnecessary.
Proceedings of Toward a Science of Consciousness: Fundamental approaches, Tokyo 1999
Author: Kunio Yasue,Mari Jibu,Tarcisio Della Senta
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
This international selection of 34 papers from the Tokyo '99 conference held at the United Nations University gives a valuable state of the art overview of consciousness research. Not only the recognized European and American approaches but also the distinguishing approaches from many Japanese researchers are presented. It will provide a world-wide audience with a comprehensive outlook for the remarkable potential contribution in the future scene of consciousness research.The Tokyo '99 declaration to promote scientists’ ethical warning against the thoughtless aiming of consciousness research at warfare is also included.(Series B)
Is there a theory that explains the essence of consciousness? Or is consciousness itself just an illusion? The 'last great mystery of science', consciousness is a topic that was banned from serious research for most of the last century, but is now an area of increasing popular interest, as well as a rapidly expanding area of study for students of psychology, philosophy and neuroscience. This ground-breaking textbook by best-selling author Susan Blackmore was the first of its kind to bring together all the major theories of consciousness studies, from those based on neuroscience to those based on quantum theory or Eastern philosophy. The book examines topics such as how subjective experiences arise from objective brain processes, the basic neuroscience of consciousness, altered states of consciousness, out of body and near death experiences and the effects of drugs, dreams and meditation. It also explores the nature of self, the possibility of artificial consciousness in robots, and the question of whether animals are conscious. The new edition has been fully revised to include the latest developments in neuroscience, brain scanning techniques, and artificial consciousness and robotics. The new website includes self-assessment exercises, advanced further reading, flashcards and MCQs. For all those intrigued by what it means to be, to exist, this book could radically transform your understanding of your own consciousness.
A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind
Author: Paul M. Churchland
Publisher: MIT Press
In Matter and Consciousness, Paul Churchland clearly presents theadvantages and disadvantages of such difficult issues in philosophy of mind as behaviorism,reductive materialism, functionalism, and eliminative materialism. This new edition incorporates thestriking developments that have taken place in neuroscience, cognitive science, and artificialintelligence and notes their expanding relevance to philosophicalissues. Churchland organizes and clarifies the new theoretical and experimentalresults of the natural sciences for a wider philosophical audience, observing that this researchbears directly on questions concerning the basic elements of cognitive activity and theirimplementation in real physical systems. (How is it, he asks, that living creatures perform somecognitive tasks so swiftly and easily, where computers do them only badly or not at all?) Mostsignificant for philosophy, Churchland asserts, is the support these results tend to give to thereductive and the eliminative versions of materialism. A BradfordBook
The Origins and History of Consciousness is an important and wide-ranging interpretation of the relations between psychology and mythology. Erich Neumann undertakes to show that the individual consciousness passes through the same archetypal stages of development that marked the history of human consciousness as a whole. He draws upon the full range of world myth in the illustration of his thesis, and his account makes unexpectedly fresh and lively reading in a field not always notable for these qualities. Neumann ends the work with a trenchant commentary on contemporary society.
The relation between subjective consciousness and the physical brain is widely regarded as the last mystery facing science. This book argues that there is no real puzzle here. Consciousness seems mysterious, not because of any hidden essence, but only because we think about it in a special way. David Papineau exposes the resulting potential for confusion, and shows that much scientific study of consciousness is misconceived. Modern physical science strongly supports a materialist account of consciousness. But there remains considerable resistance to this, both in philosophy and in the way most people think about the mind; we fall back on a dualist view, that consciousness is not part of the material world. Papineau argues that resistance to materialism is groundless. He offers a detailed analysis of the way human beings think about consciousness, and in particular the way in which we humans think about our conscious states by activating those selfsame states. His careful account of this distinctive mode of phenomenal thinking enables him, first, to show that the standard arguments against dualism are unsound, second, to explain why dualism is nevertheless so intuitively persuasive, and third, to expose much contemporary scientific study of consciousness as resting on a confusion. In placing a materialist account of consciousness on a firm foundation, this clear and forthright book lays many traditional problems to rest, and offers escape from immemorial misconceptions about the mind.
This volume is aimed at readers who wish to move beyond debates about the existence of free will and the efficacy of consciousness and closer to appreciating how free will and consciousness might operate. It draws from philosophy and psychology, the two fields that have grappled most fundamentally with these issues. In this wide-ranging volume, the contributors explore such issues as how free will is connected to rational choice, planning, and self-control; roles for consciousness in decision making; the nature and power of conscious deciding; connections among free will, consciousness, and quantum mechanics; why free will and consciousness might have evolved; how consciousness develops in individuals; the experience of free will; effects on behavior of the belief that free will is an illusion; and connections between free will and moral responsibility in lay thinking. Collectively, these state-of-the-art chapters by accomplished psychologists and philosophers provide a glimpse into the future of research on free will and consciousness.
This, the second of three volumes of Susan Sontag's journals and notebooks, begins where the first volume left off, in the middle of the 1960s. It traces and documents Sontag's evolution from fledgling participant in the artistic and intellectual world of New York City to world-renowned critic and dominant force in the world of ideas with the publication of the groundbreaking Against Interpretation in 1966. As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh follows Sontag through the turbulent years of the 1960s—from her trip to Hanoi at the peak of the Vietnam War to her time making films in Sweden—up to 1981 and the beginning of the Reagan era. This is an invaluable record of the inner workings of one of the most inquisitive and analytical thinkers of the twentieth century at the height of her power. It is also a remarkable document of one individual's political and moral awakening.