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Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #121)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  1,063 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
"The last great mystery for science," consciousness has become a controversial topic. Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction challenges readers to reconsider key concepts such as personality, free will, and the soul. How can a physical brain create our experience of the world? What creates our identity? Do we really have free will? Could consciousness itself be an illusi ...more
Paperback, 146 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published May 30th 2003)
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Nandakishore Varma
May 16, 2015 Nandakishore Varma rated it really liked it
The Self is illusion – so says the Buddha; and Susan Blackmore agrees, albeit with more scientific evidence as backup.


The Hard Problem

We are sure that there is a world outside, filled with inanimate and live things. However, we can experience this world only through our senses: the colours, the smells and the feels. They are all we have, to form our idea about our environment. However, they are dependent upon the experiences of our brain, therefore by nature subjective - and when we come to a
Jan 24, 2016 Heba rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
...ليس هناك تعريف مُتفق عليه للوعي وعلى ما يبدو لا توجد آلية يُمكنها اكتشاف الوعي

الكتاب طرح العديد من النظريات العلمية والفلسفية حول مفهوم الوعي ولكن استمرت الأسئلة دون اجابة .. فالكاتبة تفضلت بقولها اذا كان هناك سؤال لا يمكن الاجابة عنه فربما من الأفضل أن نتوقف عن طرحه ...
ولكن الأمر يبدو على قدر من الأهمية مما يستوجب المزيد من البحث والقراءة ولعل ما استطعت ان اتوصل اليه هو ان لابد وان العلم الناجح يناقش ويُفسر محتويات تيار الوعي واستمراريته والذات التي توصف إنها واعية
كما إنه لم يتم التوصل الى
Found this a fascinating book insofar as some of the ideas suggested in it were things I had never thought of. See for example the sections Theories of consciousness (p. 43), The nature of illusion (p. 50), The timing of conscious acts (p. 86), Memes (p. 127) and The future of consciousness (p. 128) She mentions Daniel Dennett frequently, citing in particular his Consciousness Explained (1991) and seems to agree which many of his ideas.

By the way, see this review
تعرف ايه عن الوعى يا مرسى. ولا يا بهجت .. هو احنا عندنا حاجه فى المنهج اسمها وعى؟ قد تعتقد عندما تقرأ العنوان انك تعرف كل شىء و لكن مع تقليبك لصفحات الكتاب و تقلبك فيما فيه و مدى تقبلك لأفكاره من عدمه ستكتشف انك لا تعرف معنى الوعى اصلا. هل هو الذات ام الإدراك أم مستوى الذكاء و الإنتباه. هل هى الأمانه و حرية الاختيار و الإرادة الحرة. هل هو ادراكنا لأنفسنا و للآخرين أم أن كل ذلك هو مجرد وهم و ليس الا ثمة مادة فى مادة و خلايا و جزيئات و ومضات كهربية تحرك جزئات مادية طوال الوقت. هل نحن ظاهرة لغوية ص ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #121), Susan J. Blackmore
عنوان: آگاهی؛ نویسنده: سوزان جی. بلکمور؛ مترجم: رضا رضایی؛ تهران، فرهنگ معاصر، 1387؛ در 196 ص؛ شابک: 9789648637595؛ چاپ دیگر: 1388؛ چاپ چهارم 1393؛ موضوع: خودآگاهی قرن 21 م
How can a physical brain create our experience of the world? What creates our identity? Do we really have free will? Could consciousness itself be an illusion?
Andrew Langridge
Mar 31, 2013 Andrew Langridge rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a very clear, well-written exposition on a difficult subject, but it is by no means a neutral review of the field as one might expect from a 'very short introduction'. Instead, Susan Blackmore promotes her own thesis, sympathetic to the work of Daniel Dennett, in which a single inner self with subjective experience, holding opinions and acting on decisions is a useful fiction or benign illusion created by the brain. Our ordinary intuition that there is a center to conscious experience is ...more
Hrishabh Chaudhary
May 20, 2015 Hrishabh Chaudhary rated it really liked it
The Book and Me

The book deals with a very hard problem, which Blackmore puts forward in the very first line of the very first chapter: What is consciousness? A question you might have ruminated in past, in some way, at some point in time, but then you let it go in favor of attending to worldly obligations. My version goes like this:

Seventh grade, Biology class

Me and my friend were giving a re-read to our favorite chapter ;-) when these words fell upon my ears.
Teacher : a cell is the smallest uni
أنا أملك جسدي عيناي و قدماي و رأسي و يداي و دماغي و أمعائي أيضا و لكن من أنا لا شىء مما سبق يمكن أن أدعوه أنا

هكذا هو الوعي لا يوجد بالفعل ما يمثله و لا حتي مكان ما فى المخ

دخلت الكتاب بحثا عن معني للوعي فخرجت منه أفتش عن الأنا
Nov 20, 2015 Clif rated it really liked it
Yes, I am stuck on these wonderful "very short introduction" (VSI) books from Oxford University. This one is the perfect follow-up to the one on free will that I recently reviewed.

While the free will book is about logic; how do we think about our consciousness and how can we eliminate false ideas about it through reasoning, this book is all about science and the physical brain. The actual parts of the brain are only mentioned a few times but many studies of brain function and the theories of a f
Mohammed Hussam
أفهم المقدمة أن تكون مدخل مبسط للمادة، إن كان فهمي صحيحاً فهذا الكتاب ليس مقدمة..
مجموعة من النظريات العلمية والفلسفية مع عدد كبير من التجارب تحاول الاجابة عن اسئلة من قبيل ما هو الوعي؟ هل يمكن الإحساس بهِ؟ هل هو مرتبط بجهازنا العصبي؟ هل الإنسان هو الكائن الواعي الوحيد؟
والنتيجة كانت لا شيء، سوى الفائدة من بعض المعلومات والتجارب..
بشكل عام أرى أن هذا الكتاب يجع القارئ أكثر حيرة بعد قراءته..
Tariq Alferis
أنت لاتعرف أنك محظوظ
لأنك قرد
الوعي لعنة فظيعة.
كريغ شوارتز يتحدث إلى قرده...

الكتاب يناقش الوعي بشكل موضوعي حيادي , ذكرت الكاتبة رأي الفلسفة و الأديان, علماء الأعصاب , والطب نفسي كتخصص, هل الوعي لعنة ؟, هل هو وهم؟ هل هو شيء منفصل؟
كلها أسئلة لكن دون إجابات, ممكن تفهم خلفية الموضوع وبعض نظريات لتشكل نظريتك الخاصة , لكن لم يعرف أحد إلى الان ماقبل الوعي, من أين جاء كل شيء,
أين كانت ذاتنا الواعية قبل أن نولد, هل يمكنك أن تحدد ذكرياتك الاولى؟
حتى وان اختلفت المفاهيم شنو يضمن أن عقلك الواعي لم يوجد من قبل
Leon M
Apr 03, 2011 Leon M rated it really liked it
In "Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction", Susan Blackmore gives the reader just that - a very short introduction to a highly complicated interdisciplinary topic. Considering the sheer impossibility of doing that in a fully satisfying way, Blackmore did quite a good job at it.

The book starts of with the basic dichotomy between dualists and monists (mainly materialists these days) and explains why none of these sides have a convincing argument to offer for why their side is true and the other
Mikael Lind
May 19, 2011 Mikael Lind rated it liked it
This book starts off very promisingly. It asks all the interesting questions and presents loads of interesting research and studies on the topics. However, the final chapter is so utterly disappointing that I can't give this book more than three stars. Blackmore presents her own "solution" to the problem of consciousness, but in such an unsatisfying way that all the questions she herself presented in the beginning remain unanswered. If our talk of consciousness and subconsciousness are nothing b ...more
Oct 23, 2015 David rated it it was ok
I debated between giving this book two or three stars. On the plus side, it is well written, an easy read, and it has a clear and concise description of a lot of what has been done and the state of the art in understanding consciousness. In the end, I went with two stars because I felt this book is fundamentally dishonest, a fatal flaw in an introduction. My problem with this book is that rather than being a review, what the title promises, it considers other theories of consciousness only to di ...more
Kyle van Oosterum
Jan 14, 2016 Kyle van Oosterum rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Brilliant introduction to a concept I don't understand at all. The best way to think about consciousness is like trying to see when a fridge's light turns off. It always appears to be on, so in a certain way we always appear to be conscious and we cannot ever not be conscious. The existence of marijuana refutes this idea however...
Nov 20, 2015 Caroline rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Bought online. Font too small. Couldn't even bring myself to struggle to read the first page. Just one glance and it was ejected from my consciousness like a rocket :O(
Rima aguir
Jul 11, 2016 Rima aguir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
احببته جدا ... لعنة الوعي ☺الموضوع مثير حقا ... اسئله لا اجابة لها ... الموضوع يستحق التعمق اكثر
May 20, 2017 Houssein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
يطرح الكتاب نظريات مختلفة حول الوعي .. وأهمها تلك التي تدحض نظرية ثنائية الروح والجسد و تدعو لإعادة التفكير .. هل للروح وجود وهل ستنفصل عن الجسد يوما لتلقى ربها أم هي مجرد افتراض من صنع البشر واحساس بالوجود؟
Joshua Stein
Jan 18, 2011 Joshua Stein rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy, mind
I really enjoy Susan Blackmore. She's a terrific mind and a really great person when it comes to consciousness and philosophy of mind, in particular. I received a free copy of her new introduction (not short, in the least) in the mail, and so I'll probably read that at some point over the summer.

As much as I like the Oxford series, this one fell a little short for me. Maybe having a background in a field undermines the purpose of the "Very Short Introduction" series, but it doesn't seem to me th
Farah Osama
الكتاب جولة مثيرة في نظريات فلسفية او علمية عن اسئلة جدا محيرة الوعي الذات العقل التجربة الذاتية وغيره
في بعض المواضع كان مليء بالاثارة و في بعضها عبارة عن متاهة دورانية لا اكثر
الكتاب كله حلو ما عدا ماعدا ماعدا فصل الارادة الحرة ، ما عندي فكرة نوع المخدر اللي اتعطاه لما كتب الكلام حتى المترجم مكانش عارف يترجم وراه بهاي الفصل
وبيذكر فيه تجارب وبيستدل منها على اشياء و بيستخدم تعبيرات اصبح مؤكدا ومما لاشك فيه كذا و كذا لا انا متاكدتش معاك لسه بشك يا اخي ههه
وما في بنظري صلة حتى بنوع التجربة والنتيجة
Karel Baloun
This is not the book on consciousness you were looking for. Read Yuval Hariri's Homo Deus or any of the dozen neuroscience books from MIT Press.

Frustratingly, it took me several chapters to realize Blackmore just asks various questions that seem tantalizing, but I actually just re-direct from areas of neuroscience where there IS actual information available, but she is not deeply studied in the material.

She cites ancient historical material, in an attempt to reflect many points of view, and ofte
ცნობიერების საინტერესო და მოკლე შესავალი, რომელიც მართალია კითხვებს უფრო გაგიჩენთ ვიდრე რაიმეს უპასუხებს, მაგრამ ასეთ რთულ ფუნდამენტურ თემაზე და მითუმეტეს "შესავალში" მეტს არც უნდა ელოდეთ.
წიგნში ბევრი საინტერესო მასალა და საკითხია მოკლედ წარმოდგენილი, რა არის ცნობიერება? ვარ კი ცნობიერი? რა არის ყურადღება? არის შინაგანი "მე" მთლიანი თუ სხვადასხვა ცალკეული პროცესებისგან შემდგარი ილუზია? რა არის "დიდი ილუზია"? გვაქვს თავისუფალი ნება? შეკითხვები უამრავია და სულ ერთი მეორეზე უფრო ფუნდამენტური და სიღ
Ammar Mnla Hasan
Mar 08, 2016 Ammar Mnla Hasan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب مشوش جداً، كما يفترض أن يكون، لكنه في طرحه لمسألة الوعي بين الفلسفة والعلم يميل نحو العلم بشدة أكبر، ورغم اعترافه في أكثر من مناسبة أن معرفتنا غير مكتملة بعلوم الأعصاب والتشريح الكهربائي للدماغ، إلا أنه يميل لنفي بعض المفاهيم عن الوعي بناءً على كونها غير مكتشفة بعد علمياً. هناك مفاهيم شديدة الأهمية تم طرحها بسرعة شديدة لدرجة محبطة، كعلاقة الوعي والحتميات بحرية الإرادة، وجانب النفسي لمفهوم اللاوعي. وفي أكثر من مكان من الكتاب يتم مسألة استمرارية أو تجدد الوعي من منطلق ثنائي محدود، إما أن الوع ...more
Feb 04, 2015 Chesna rated it it was ok
Shelves: science
With the exception of overtly religious authors, this is the most unapologetically biased treatment of a scientific topic I have ever seen. Theories are thrown out as garbage and others latched onto without evidence, simply because the author finds them "plausible." Pretty much all religion, according to the author, is Richard Dawkins' "virus of the mind," that creates false ideas of life after death, but then again, Zen Buddhism is the key to the universe, and we should all hope for the day whe ...more
Ahmed El-kashif
Dec 01, 2015 Ahmed El-kashif rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
لماذا انهي الكاتب الكتاب بهذه السرعة دون ان يجيب علي الاسئلة التي طرحها ليترك القارئ رغبة عارمة في معرفة المزيد؟
ربما اسوء شئ في الكتاب هو كونه مقدمة قصيرة جدا وقد
صدق في ذلك
الكاتب تعمد طرح الاسئلة والنظريات المختلفة التي قد تجيب عنها ةترك القارئ لحاله يقرر ماذا يفعل
الكتاب جيد جدا كمدخل الي الموضوع ولكنك ستحتاج المزيد وستحتاج الي نفسك لتقرر الي اي الاراء تميل اة حتي الي رايك الخاص
اعتقد انه يسحق 4 نجمات فالترجمة جيدة والطرح ممتع وسهل حتي علي هاو مثلي
آگاهی چیست و دقیقا چه میکند؟ آیا آگاهی نوعی توهم نیست؟
کتاب شامل 8 فصله زبان ساده ای داره. بلکمور سوالی رو مطرح میکنه و بعد درباره تصورات نادرستی که وجود داره توضیح میده
خوندنش مفید و جالب بود

قسمتی از کتاب
چطور از شر افکار مزاحم راحت شویم؟ بهترین توصیه این است که با این افکار نجنگیم بلکه فقط بگذاریم بروند
ص 147
Azzan Alkamali
Nov 09, 2016 Azzan Alkamali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
كتاب اكثر من رائع بالحقيقة..
في البداية اعجبني جداً اسلوب الكاتبة، فقد كتبت بإسلوب بسيط ومشوق جداً ومثير للجدل .. يجعل القاريء يتفكر في كل صفحة لعدة دقائق.
ثم ان الأمثله التي طرحت توضح الفكرة والمقصد بشكل كبير، والحقائق العلمية والحالات الطبية المذكورة رائعه ومخيفه في نفس الوقت (هذا ما شعرت به على الاقل)
وبالأخير، دفعني هذا الكتاب الى التعمق اكثر في موضوعه والبحث حول (الوعي) اكثر ..
Mohamedridha Alaskari محمد رضا العسكري
كتاب جيد، لكن يطرح الكثير من التساؤلات على السنة البعض وتركها بدون اجابة وافية وهذا هو السبب لفقدان الكتاب نجمتين من التقييم العام.
نجمة للاسلوب الذي طرح به هذا الكتاب بالاضافة للرسوم التوضيحية
نجمة ثانية للفصل الخامس (الذات)
ونجمة ثالثة لطرح وشرح موضوع الميمات meme في الصفحة ١٤٢ و ١٤٣
Dec 30, 2014 sara rated it really liked it
And with this, my 2014 20 book challenge is finally complete
Ali Alamer
Jul 03, 2016 Ali Alamer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
أسئلة حول الوعي وعن كونه مجرد وهم أم هو وصف لشيء موجود فعلا؟
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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
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