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I. LIFE AND CONSCIOUSNESS
The great problems — Philosophical systems — Lines of facts — Consciousness, memory, anticipation — What beings are conscious? — The faculty of choosing — Consciousness awake and consciousness slumbering — Consciousness and unforeseeability — The mechanism of free action — The tensions of duration — The evolution of life — Man — The creative
activity — The meaning of joy — The moral life — The social life — The beyond.
II. THE SOUL AND THE BODY
The common-sense theory — The materialist theory — Their shortcoming — The metaphysical origin of the hypothesis of
a parallelism or equivalence between cerebral activity and mental activity — The appeal to experience — The probable
role of the brain — Thought and pantomime — Attention to life — Distraction and alienation — Theory suggested by the
study of memory, especially word-memory — Where are memories preserved? — Does the soul survive the body?
III. "PHANTASMS OF THE LIVING" AND PSYCHICAL RESEARCH
The prejudice against "psychical research"—Telepathy and science — Telepathy and coincidence — Character of modern science — Objections against psychical research in the name of science — The metaphysics implied in the objections — What a direct study of mental activity might yield — Consciousness and materiality — Future of psychical research.
The part which visual, auditive, tactile, and other sensations play in dreams — The part which memory plays — Is the dream creative? — The mechanism of perception in the dream state and in the awake state: analogies and differences — The psychical character of sleep — Disinterestedness and detension — The state of tension.
V. MEMORY OF THE PRESENT AND FALSE RECOGNITION
False recognition described — Distinguished from: (1) certain pathological states; (2) vague or uncertain recognition
— Three systems of explanation, according to whether the trouble is regarded as affecting thought, feeling or volition —
The theories criticized — A principle of explanation proposed for a wide class of psychical disorders — How memory is
formed — Memory of the present — The duplication of the present in perception and memory — Why this duplication is
normally unconscious — In what way it may become conscious — Effect of an "inattention to life "— Insufficiency of impetus.
VI. INTELLECTUAL EFFORT
What is the intellectual characteristic of intellectual effort? — The different planes of consciousness and the movement of the mind in traversing them — Analysis of the effort to remember: instantaneous recall and laborious recall — Analysis
of the effort of intellection: mechanical interpretation and attentive interpretation — Analysis of the effort of invention: the scheme, the images and their reciprocal adaptation — Results of effort — The metaphysical bearing of the problem.
VII. BRAIN AND THOUGHT: A PHILOSOPHICAL ILLUSION
The doctrine of an equivalence between the cerebral and the mental — Can it be translated either into the language
of idealism or into that of realism? — The idealist expression of the theory avoids contradiction only by an unconscious
lapse into realism — The realist expression only escapes contradiction by an unconscious lapse into idealism — The mind
oscillates continually and unconsciously between idealism and realism — The fundamental illusion is continually reinforced
by complementary and dependent illusions.
An excerpt from the beginning of the first chapter:
I. LIFE AND CONSCIOUSNESS
The Huxley Lecture delivered in the University of Birmingham, May 24, 1911.
When a lecture is dedicated to the memory of a distinguished man of science, one cannot but feel some constraint in the choice of subject. It must be a subject that would have specially interested the person honoured. I feel no embarrassment on this account in regard to the great name of Huxley; the difficulty would be to find any problem to which his mind would have been indifferent, one of the greatest minds the England of the Nineteenth Century produced. And yet it seems to me that if one subject more than another would have appealed with particular force to the mind of a naturalist