Read Conversations on Consciousness: What the Best Minds Think about the Brain, Free Will, and What It Means to Be Human by Susan Blackmore Free Online
Book Title: Conversations on Consciousness: What the Best Minds Think about the Brain, Free Will, and What It Means to Be Human|
The author of the book: Susan Blackmore
Edition: Oxford University Press, USA
Date of issue: January 1st 2006
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 347 KB
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"Human brains are just the most complicated thing that's yet evolved, and we're trying to understand them using our brains," notes philosopher Daniel Dennett. "We're trying to reverse engineer ourselves, to understand what kind of a machine we are."
In Conversations on Consciousness, Susan Blackmore brings together some of the great minds of our time, a who's who of eminent thinkers, all of whom have devoted much of their lives to understanding "what kind of a machine we are." Some of the interviewees are major philosophers (such as John Searle, Ned Block, and David Chalmers) and some are equally renowned scientists (Francis Crick, Roger Penrose, V.S. Ramachandran). All of them talk candidly with Blackmore about some of the key philosophical issues confronting us, in a series of conversations that are revealing, insightful, and stimulating. They ruminate on the nature of consciousness--is it something apart from the brain? Is it even possible to understand the brain, to understand human consciousness? Some of these thinkers say no, it isn't possible, but most believe that we will pierce the mystery surrounding consciousness, and that neuroscience will provide the key. Blackmore goes beyond the issue of consciousness to ask other intriguing questions: Is there free will (a question which yields many conflicted replies, with most saying yes and no); if no, how does this effect the way you live your life; and more broadly, how has your work changed the way you live.
Ranging from the curious (do bees have consciousness?) to the profound (is our sense of having a self just an illusion), these provocative conversations illuminate current thinking on the mind and on human nature itself.
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Read information about the authorSusan 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 legalization. Sue Blackmore no longer works on the paranormal.
She writes for several magazines and newspapers, blogs for the Guardian newspaper and Psychology Today, and is a frequent contributor and presenter on radio and television. She is author of over sixty academic articles, about fifty book contributions, and many book reviews. Her books include Dying to Live (on near-death experiences, 1993), In Search of the Light (autobiography, 1996),Test Your Psychic Powers (with Adam Hart-Davis, 1997), The Meme Machine (1999, now translated into 13 other languages), Consciousness: An Introduction (a textbook 2003), Conversations on Consciousness (2005) and Ten Zen Questions (2009).