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Consciousness: An Introduction (Very Short Introductions #231)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  183 ratings  ·  18 reviews
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 examin ...more
Paperback, 526 pages
Published February 7th 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published May 30th 2003)
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Kayson Fakhar
کاملاً مختصر مفید.
احتمالاً یه ادیشن دیگه بود ولی فارسیش ۲۰۰ صفحست.
Tyson Schindler
Spoiler alert! Consciousness, and it's by-product, free will, are mere illusions. But, useful and (somewhat) necessary ones. A great introductory (i.e. short and written for the layperson) exposition into human ("is there any other kind?" is a topic included) consciousness...
It is definitely an introduction, but over 450 pages is not "very short." The main concern in this book lies with the chasm between material brain and immaterial consciousness. It is written as a textbook, embraces many aspects of human consciousness, explains theories and introduces ideas. The jorgon demands some gnawing through, especially when one meets the words "homunculus," "skein," and "phlogiston" in the same sentence and does not happen to have a dictionary at hand. The best bits, I thi ...more
Though merely an introduction, Susan Blackmore's CONSCIOUSNESS is surprisingly thorough. So thorough, in fact, that one occasionally wishes she'd just get on with it. This book is full to the brim with theories, hypothesis and potential explanations – which are all interesting, especially in light of the fact that consciousness is very difficult even to define.

I give this book high marks, especially due to its logical and clear structure. I imagine that it can be used as a reference work, and in
Azaïs Hunter
As the title would indicate this book introduces consciousness.
It is well written and neutral, and covers many competing theories from a scientific point.
If you follow the exercises, then this will probably change the way you think about many of the problems and experiences raised by consciousness.
But as the author had warned, the book will leave you perplexed about consciousness at the end.

A very good read and highly enlightening.
Not a very good textbook. Way too informal and disorganized. A lot of the content was interesting, but there was an awful amount of filler - I felt like it could have been edited down to a quarter of its size easily. Sometimes it felt like a book for early high school students, but at the same time contained upper level university content. I also would have liked to see a whole lot more science/psychology and a whole lot less opinion.
Jul 31, 2012 Damon added it
Brilliant summary of issues in consciousness studies from phil of mind, neuro of mind, non ordinary mind and much more. Essential primary text for the B.A. in liberal studies course I will teach post MA grad next year!!

The answer is: substance monism, property dualism, humanistic enrichment of the neurologic and Grofian holotropic theory!! Poo on Dennett and his mechanistic nonsense.
It took me a long time to slog all the way through this. After all, it really is a college textbook more than anything else. However, even years later I find myself recalling things from it and have a real appreciation both for the author's writing and the subject itself. I do occasionally go back and read small sections.
James M. Madsen, M.D.
An extremely readable and user-friendly textbook introduction to a complex but important subject, with appropriate considerations of the main bodies of thought on consciousness. Very highly recommended!
Consciousness, a really hard topic to teach much less write about. Book follows a more philosophical route - which is fine, but personally I'm more a neuroscience/neuropsych-ish believer.
Richard Houchin
This is a great book for an introduction on consciousness and the human sensory organs. Chock full of fun examples of things like saccades and blind spots, this is an easy read.
Great overview of the problems, studies, and state of thought surrounding human consciousness. Easy to read, and a great introduction for anyone intrigued by the subject.
Jonathanstray Stray
Clear, insightful, open minded, yet ABSOLUTELY NO HIPPIE BULLSHIT on a topic that is really rife with it.
Justin Ramos
What is consciousness?
What is qualia?
Hard Problem?
Mind-body problem?
Mary experiment
This is very much like a textbook, and the best textbook I've read. What a great book!
Will Napier
Textbook for one of the modules I teach. Good, clear. Plugs Buddhism at the end.
Great introduction into the major problems of thinking about consciousness.
Excellent introduction.
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  • Why Choose This Book?: How We Make Decisions
  • Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness
  • Matter and Consciousness: A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind
  • The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener
  • Freedom Evolves
  • Neuroscience and Philosophy: Brain, Mind, and Language
  • Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation
  • Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension
  • Brains: How They Seem to Work
Susan Jane Blackmore is a freelance writer, lecturer and broadcaster, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth. She has a degree in psychology and physiology from Oxford University (1973) and a PhD in parapsychology from the University of Surrey (1980). Her research interests include memes, evolutionary theory, consciousness, and meditation. She practices Zen and campaigns for drug l ...more
More about Susan J. Blackmore...
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