A History of the Mind: Evolution and the Birth of Consciousness
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A History of the Mind: Evolution and the Birth of Consciousness

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  7 reviews
This book is a tour-de-force on how human consciousness may have evolved. From the "phantom pain" experienced by people who have lost their limbs to the uncanny faculty of "blindsight," Humphrey argues that raw sensations are central to all conscious states and that consciousness must have evolved, just like all other mental faculties, over time from our ancestors'bodily r...more
Paperback, 238 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by Copernicus Books (first published 1992)
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Christopher Staley
Oct 24, 2007 Christopher Staley rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: people interested in the philosophy of the mind
He's got a lot of good things to say; however, I'm having a tough time buying the argument for the parallel nature of perception and sensation. I'd be curious if anyone else had a similar issue. Even with BH's "experimental" support of this theory, it is difficult for me not to believe that perception is an analysis of sensation.

On the other hand, his idea of a feedback loop not only solves the nesting dolls problem, but also goes a long way towards explaing the you-have-it-or-you-don't nature o...more
Emily
The first chapter of this book is kind of exciting. Humphrey has this thesis that everything interesting in nature happens at the borders. His ideas around sensation and how we respond to sensation are really great food for thought. Then, he gets a little - odd. He has an argument with a child that he wrote himself to prove/disprove his thesis. And the science seems to have passed him by a bit since this was written - so all of his theories are a little - um, out of date.
Erik Graff
May 27, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: philosophers of mind
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: psychology
Humphrey's thesis is, so far as I can recall it, that mind arises from physical sensation, interior and exterior, inclusive of emotion. This thesis is played off against evolutionary theory with speculation about how higher orders of abstraction from primary sensation were selected.
Alex
The amount of ideas may well worth one paper or a few, but a book with such a title should have had more meat in it, especially as speculation seems a major portion.
Les Gehman
An interesting book that attempts to explain how consciousness evolved.
Azar
Loved the easy read of what our consciousness works like.
Bill Clevenger
Dec 05, 2007 Bill Clevenger rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: those with a neocortex
Shelves: science
Fascinating ponderings of a truly original thinker.
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Sensation and Perception 1 6 Oct 21, 2007 03:04PM  
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