Editorial Reviews for this title:
Rita Carter ponders the nature, origins, and purpose of consciousness in this fascinating inquiry into the toughest problem facing modern science and philosophy. Building on the foundation of her bestselling book Mapping the Mind, she considers whether consciousness is merely an illusion, a by-product of our brain's workings, some as yet inexplicable feature or property of the material universe or—as the latest physics may suggest—the very fundament of reality. Little, she discovers, is as it first seems.
Carter draws from a solid body of knowledge—empirical findings and theoretical hypotheses--about consciousness, much of it derived from recent discoveries about the brain. Her lively, accessible narrative ranges widely over new ways of thinking about the subject and what direction new research is taking. Leading scholars from a range of perspectives provide topical essays that complement Carter's account. The book also discusses how traditional approaches—philosophical, scientific, and experiential—might be brought together to create a more complete understanding of consciousness.
"In a breezy and clear style, Carter provides a broad, lucid survey of most of the interesting ideas and people involved in the trendy field of consciousness research, pulling together many disparate philosophical and scientific views."--John Horgan, author of The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation
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