Dreaming Souls: Sleep, Dreams and the Evolution of the Conscious Mind (Philosophy of Mind)

3.66 avg rating
( 32 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780195142358: Dreaming Souls: Sleep, Dreams and the Evolution of the Conscious Mind (Philosophy of Mind)

What, if anything, do dreams tell us about ourselves? What is the relationship between types of sleep and types of dreams? Does dreaming serve any purpose? Or are dreams simply meaningless mental noise--"unmusical fingers wandering over the piano keys"?
With expertise in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, Owen Flanagan is uniquely qualified to answer these questions. And in Dreaming Souls he provides both an accessible survey of the latest research on sleep and dreams and a compelling new theory about the nature and function of dreaming. Flanagan argues that while sleep has a clear biological function and adaptive value, dreams are merely side effects, "free riders," irrelevant from an evolutionary point of view. But dreams are hardly unimportant. Indeed, Flanagan argues that dreams are self-expressive, the result of our need to find or to create meaning, even when we're sleeping. Rejecting Freud's theory of manifest and latent content--of repressed wishes appearing in disguised form--Flanagan shows how brainstem activity during sleep generates a jumbled profusion of memories, images, thoughts, emotions, and desires, which the cerebral cortex then attempts to shape into a more or less coherent story. Such dream-narratives range from the relatively mundane worries of non REM sleep to the fantastic confabulations of deep REM that resemble psychotic episodes in their strangeness. But however bizarre these narratives may be, they can shed light on our mental life, our well being, and our sense of self.
Written with clarity, lively wit, and remarkable insight, Dreaming Souls offers a fascinating new way of apprehending one of the oldest mysteries of mental life.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

It is a long-held notion of evolutionary theory that every aspect of behavior has an adaptive purpose, making the organism that exhibits it more fit for survival. That view hits a wall when it is brought to bear on dreaming, an act that seems to have no discernible adaptive advantage.

What good does it do us to dream? Cognitive scientist Owen Flanagan addresses this and related questions in Dreaming Souls, an endlessly interesting excursion into the philosophy of mind. He proposes, first, that dreaming is simply a by-product of the ordinary awareness that allows us to live as conscious beings, an unintended rejoinder to our waking states. Nature selected mammals to have rigid skeletons in a calcium-rich environment, Flanagan notes, but "cared not one bit about their color"; in the same way, he suggests, dreaming may simply be "an expectable side effect of selection for creatures designed to have and utilize experiences while they are awake, and which continue to have experiences after the lights go off." All this is not to say that dreams are unimportant, Flanagan adds, even though they may not be especially trustworthy; dreams may be a useful means of mind reading, something we constantly do while we are awake, interrogating ourselves constantly in order to gauge our thoughts and responses to the world around us. Dreams enable us, too, to mine below the narrative self of daily life, the person we present to others, a mask that may be quite different from who we really are. ("The self," Flanagan observes, "trades in fiction rather than fact.")

Flanagan proposes no definitive answers to the question of why we dream, but his ideas are stimulating and well-argued, and they open the door to further investigation. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:


Owen Flanagan is James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy, Professor Psychology-Experimental, and Professor of Neurobiology at Duke University. He is the author of The Science of Mind, Consciousness Reconsidered, Varieties of Moral Personality and Self Expressions.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Owen Flanagan
Published by Oxford University Press (2001)
ISBN 10: 0195142357 ISBN 13: 9780195142358
New Paperback First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0195142357

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 17.94
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Flanagan, Owen J.
Published by Oxford University Press 2001-05 (2001)
ISBN 10: 0195142357 ISBN 13: 9780195142358
New Quantity Available: 5
Print on Demand
Seller:
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press 2001-05, 2001. Book Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-LSI-06943489

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.81
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.98
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Owen Flanagan
Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2001)
ISBN 10: 0195142357 ISBN 13: 9780195142358
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. What, if anything do dreams tell us about ourselves? What is the relationship between types of sleep and types of dreams? Does dreaming serve any purpose? Or are dreams simply meaningless mental noise- unmusical fingers wandering over the piano keys ? With expertise in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, Owen Flanagan is uniquely qualified to answer those questions. And in Dreaming Souls he provides both an accessible survey of the latest research on sleep and dreams and a compelling new theory about the nature and function of dreaming. Flanagan argues that while sleep has a clear biological function and adaptive value, dreams are merely side effects, free-riders , irrelevant from an evolutionary point of view. But dreams are hardly unimportant. Indeed, Flanagan argues that dreams are self-expressive, the result of our need to find or create meaning, even when we are sleeping. Rejecting Freud s theory of manifest and latent content-of repressed wishes appearing in disguised form-Flanagan shows how brainstem activity during sleep generates a jumbled profusion of memories, images, thoughts, emotions, and desires, which the cerebral cortex then attempts to shape into a more or less coherent story. Such dream narratives range from the relatively mundane worries of non-REM sleep tot he fantastic confabulations of deep REM that resemble pyschotic episodes in their strangeness. But, however bizarre these narratives may be, they can shed light on our mental life, our well being, and our sense of self. Written with clarity, lively wit, and remarkable insight, Dreaming Souls offers a fascinating new way of apprehending one of the oldest mysteries of mental life. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195142358

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.06
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Owen Flanagan
Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2001)
ISBN 10: 0195142357 ISBN 13: 9780195142358
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.What, if anything do dreams tell us about ourselves? What is the relationship between types of sleep and types of dreams? Does dreaming serve any purpose? Or are dreams simply meaningless mental noise- unmusical fingers wandering over the piano keys ? With expertise in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, Owen Flanagan is uniquely qualified to answer those questions. And in Dreaming Souls he provides both an accessible survey of the latest research on sleep and dreams and a compelling new theory about the nature and function of dreaming. Flanagan argues that while sleep has a clear biological function and adaptive value, dreams are merely side effects, free-riders , irrelevant from an evolutionary point of view. But dreams are hardly unimportant. Indeed, Flanagan argues that dreams are self-expressive, the result of our need to find or create meaning, even when we are sleeping. Rejecting Freud s theory of manifest and latent content-of repressed wishes appearing in disguised form-Flanagan shows how brainstem activity during sleep generates a jumbled profusion of memories, images, thoughts, emotions, and desires, which the cerebral cortex then attempts to shape into a more or less coherent story. Such dream narratives range from the relatively mundane worries of non-REM sleep tot he fantastic confabulations of deep REM that resemble pyschotic episodes in their strangeness. But, however bizarre these narratives may be, they can shed light on our mental life, our well being, and our sense of self. Written with clarity, lively wit, and remarkable insight, Dreaming Souls offers a fascinating new way of apprehending one of the oldest mysteries of mental life. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195142358

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.54
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Flanagan, Owen J.
Published by Oxford University Press (2016)
ISBN 10: 0195142357 ISBN 13: 9780195142358
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Print on Demand
Seller:
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. PRINT ON DEMAND Book; New; Publication Year 2016; Not Signed; Fast Shipping from the UK. No. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780195142358_lsuk

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.22
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.15
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Flanagan, Owen
Published by OUP USA (2001)
ISBN 10: 0195142357 ISBN 13: 9780195142358
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description OUP USA, 2001. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Delivered from our UK warehouse in 3 to 5 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # LQ-9780195142358

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.56
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 11.99
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Flanagan Owen
Published by Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0195142357 ISBN 13: 9780195142358
New Quantity Available: 4
Seller:
Majestic Books
(London, ,, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press. Book Condition: New. pp. 224. Bookseller Inventory # 5587256

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 31.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.33
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Flanagan, Owen J.
ISBN 10: 0195142357 ISBN 13: 9780195142358
New Quantity Available: 7
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2001. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VU-9780195142358

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 37.62
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Owen Flanagan
Published by Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2001)
ISBN 10: 0195142357 ISBN 13: 9780195142358
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. What, if anything do dreams tell us about ourselves? What is the relationship between types of sleep and types of dreams? Does dreaming serve any purpose? Or are dreams simply meaningless mental noise- unmusical fingers wandering over the piano keys ? With expertise in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, Owen Flanagan is uniquely qualified to answer those questions. And in Dreaming Souls he provides both an accessible survey of the latest research on sleep and dreams and a compelling new theory about the nature and function of dreaming. Flanagan argues that while sleep has a clear biological function and adaptive value, dreams are merely side effects, free-riders , irrelevant from an evolutionary point of view. But dreams are hardly unimportant. Indeed, Flanagan argues that dreams are self-expressive, the result of our need to find or create meaning, even when we are sleeping. Rejecting Freud s theory of manifest and latent content-of repressed wishes appearing in disguised form-Flanagan shows how brainstem activity during sleep generates a jumbled profusion of memories, images, thoughts, emotions, and desires, which the cerebral cortex then attempts to shape into a more or less coherent story. Such dream narratives range from the relatively mundane worries of non-REM sleep tot he fantastic confabulations of deep REM that resemble pyschotic episodes in their strangeness. But, however bizarre these narratives may be, they can shed light on our mental life, our well being, and our sense of self. Written with clarity, lively wit, and remarkable insight, Dreaming Souls offers a fascinating new way of apprehending one of the oldest mysteries of mental life. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780195142358

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 45.02
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Flanagan, Owen J.
Published by Oxford Univ Pr on Demand 2001/05/17 (2001)
ISBN 10: 0195142357 ISBN 13: 9780195142358
New Quantity Available: 4
Seller:
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford Univ Pr on Demand 2001/05/17, 2001. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatched within 2 working days from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-BNT-01776540

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 46.20
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.98
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book