Consciousness: An Introduction / Edition 2

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Now in a new edition, this innovative text 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, Second Edition, 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.


* Profiles of important philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and biologists involved in consciousness studies

* "Concept" text boxes that elucidate specific aspects of consciousness

* "Practice" and "Activity" text boxes that encourage students to engage in practical exercises in class and at home

* Bold marginal quotations that emphasize key ideas, and suggestions for further reading

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The main strength of Consciousness is that it covers all the cool stuff, all the consciousness phenomena that really capture the imagination. A great virtue is that the book is current; there hasn't been anything I wanted to talk about that isn't in it. You bet I will adopt the second edition."—William Lycan, University of North Carolina

"A strong virtue of Consciousness is that it is thoroughly interdisciplinary. Terrific coverage of attention and memory, empirical stuff, the unity of consciousness, damaged brains, hallucinations, and dreams—really first-rate material."—Andrew Pessin, Connecticut College

"Consciousness is an excellent companion to a primary source reader in a philosophy of mind course, or a stand-alone text in an introductory course on consciousness."—Lisa Portmess, Gettysburg College

Library Journal
How can the subjective feelings of consciousness arise from the firing of synapses? Is there an "added something" that causes us to be self-aware? Or could it be that consciousness is just an illusion or an ephemeral byproduct? We don't know the answers-indeed, we are only beginning to formulate the questions, even though philosophers have been considering these issues for centuries. Though this work is intended as a college textbook, Blackmore (The Meme Machine) makes accessible to general readers the evolution of consciousness, machine intelligence, dreams, and the paranormal, drawing on philosophical, neuroscientific, and quantum theory perspectives from both the West and the East. The author, also a practitioner of Zen meditation, ends with chapters on Buddhism, which, she claims, explores these questions from an experiential perspective. The explanations of abstruse arguments are clear, and the writing is livelier than is the norm in textbooks. Recommended for all academic and large public libraries; Rita Carter's equally fine Exploring Consciousness is another good choice that covers the same core material in a less expensive hardcover format.-Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199739097
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/7/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 540
  • Sales rank: 262,082
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Blackmore is a writer, lecturer, and Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth, UK. She is the author of Conversations on Consciousness (2006), A Very Short Introduction to Consciousness (2005), and The Meme Machine (1999), all published by Oxford University Press.

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Table of Contents

*=New to this Edition
Art Credits
Boxes and Sidebars
Section One. The Problem
1. What's the Problem?
2. What Is It Like To Be . . .?
3. Conscious and Unconscious?
Section Two. The World
4. The Theater of the Mind
5. Attention and Timing
6. The Grand Illusion
Section Three. The Self
7. Egos, Bundles, and Multiple Selves
8. Theories of Self
9. Agency and Free Will
Section Four. The Brain
10. The Neural Correlates of Consciousness
11. The Unity of Consciousness
12. Damaged Brains
Section Five. Evolution
13. Evolution and Consciousness
14. The Function of Consciousness
15. Animal Minds
* Section Six. Artificial Consciousness
* 16. Minds and Machines
* 17. Could a Machine Be Conscious?
* 18. How to Build a Conscious Machine
Section Seven. Borderlands
19. Unconscious Processing
20. Reality and Imagination
21. The Paranormal
Section Eight. Altered States of Consciousness
22. Drugs and Altered States
23. Sleep, Dreams, and Hypnotic States
* 24. Exceptional Human Experience
Section Nine. First-Person Approaches
25. The View from Within
* 26. Meditation and Mindfulness
27. Waking Up

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