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The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory

By: David J Chalmers

414 pages, 9 illus

Oxford University Press USA

Paperback | Mar 1998 | #105825 | ISBN: 0195117891
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £16.99 $21/€19 approx
Hardback | Dec 1996 | #59276 | ISBN: 0195105532
Out of Print Details

About this book

What is consciousness? How do physical processes in the brain give rise to the self-aware mind and to feelings as profoundly varied as love or hate, aesthetic pleasure or spiritual yearning? David J. Chalmers unveils a major new theory of consciousness, one that rejects the prevailing reductionist trend of science, while offering provocative insights into the relationship between mind and brain. Writing in a thought-provoking style, Chalmers proposes that conscious experience must be understood as an irreducible entity similar to such physical properties as time, mass, and space that exists at a fundamental level and cannot be understood as the sum of its parts. Engaging and penetrating, this book adds a fresh new perspective to the subject that is sure to spark debate about our understanding of the mind for years to come.

The book is very well argued, thorough, sophisticated, honest, stimulating... It is certainly one of the best discussions of consciousness in existence, both as an advanced text and as an introduction to the issues. Times Higher Education Supplement


I. PRELIMINARIES; 1. Two Concepts of Mind; 2. Supervenience and Explanation; II. THE IRREDUCIBILITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS; 3. Can Consciousness be Reductively Explained?; 4. Naturalistic Dualism; 5. The Paradox of Phenomenal Judgment; III. TOWARD A THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS; 6. The Coherence between Consciousness and Cognition; 7. Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia; 8. Consciousness and Information: Some Speculation; IV. APPLICATIONS; 9. Strong Artificial Intelligence; 10. The Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics; Notes; Bibliography

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