Consciousness: An Introduction

Consciousness: An Introduction

by Susan J. Blackmore, Susan Blackmore
     
 

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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.
Designed for upper-level

Overview

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.
Designed for upper-level undergraduate courses on consciousness, this groundbreaking text is the first volume to bring together all the major theories of consciousness studies—from those rooted in neuroscience to those based on quantum theory or 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 text is also supported by many pedagogical aids including classroom exercises, self-assessment questions, further reading suggestions, and practical exercises that help bring the subject to life.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195153422
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
10/28/2003
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.20(d)

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