Conversations on Consciousness

Conversations on Consciousness


By (author) Susan Blackmore

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 212mm x 24mm | 381g
  • Publication date: 26 October 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0192806238
  • ISBN 13: 9780192806239
  • Illustrations note: halftones
  • Sales rank: 125,084

Product description

Conversations on Consciousness is just that - a series of twenty lively and challenging conversations between Sue Blackmore and some of the world's leading philosophers and scientists. Written in a colloquial and engaging style the book records the conversations Sue had when she met these influential thinkers, whether at conferences in Arizona or Antwerp, or in their labs or homes in Oxford or San Diego. The conversations bring out their very different personalities and styles and reveal a wealth of fascinating detail about their theories and beliefs. Why is consciousness such a special and difficult issue for twenty-first century science? Sue, herself a researcher into this controversial and difficult topic, begins by asking each of her colleagues this simple question and is immediately plunged into the depths of the debate: How do the subjective experiences we call consciousness arise from the physical brain? Is this even the right question to ask? Can zombies - people who behave outwardly just like others but have no inner mental life - exist? What can dreams tell us about consciousness? Should we all be learning to meditate? Do we have free will, and if not is it possible to live without it? With an introduction setting out the broad structure of the debate on consciousness, and an extensive glossary, this book provides an engaging and accessible account of the most challenging problem of all, through the words of some of the leading figures involved in seeking to solve it.

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Author information

Sue Blackmore is a freelance writer, lecturer and broadcaster, and Visiting Lecturer at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Following a degree in psychology and physiology from Oxford University, she completed her doctorate in parapsychology at the University of Surrey. Her research interests include consciousness, evolutionary theory, and memetics. Sue practices Zen, and her previous books include The Meme Machine, Consciousness: An Introduction, and Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction.

Review quote

a fascinating insight Guardian

Table of contents

1. Introduction ; 2. Bernard Baars ; 3. Ned Block ; 4. David Chalmers ; 5. Patricia and Paul Churchland ; 6. Francis Crick ; 7. Daniel Dennett ; 8. Susan Greenfield ; 9. Richard Gregory ; 10. Stuart Hameroff ; 11. Christof Koch ; 12. Stephen LaBerge ; 13. Thomas Metzinger ; 14. Roger Penrose ; 15. Kevin O'Regan ; 16. Vilayanur Ramachandran ; 17. John Searle ; 18. Petra Stoerig ; 19. Francisco Varela ; 20. Max Velmans ; 21. Daniel Wegner ; Glossary ; Index