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Consciousness : An Introduction - Susan Blackmore

Paperback Published: 30th April 2018
ISBN: 9781138801318
Number Of Pages: 618

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Is there a theory that explains the essence of consciousness?

Or is consciousness itself an illusion?

Am I conscious now?

Now considered the 'last great mystery of science', consciousness was once viewed with extreme scepticism and rejected by mainstream scientists. It is now a significant area of research, albeit a contentious one, as well as a rapidly expanding area of study for students of psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience.

This edition of Consciousness, revised by author team Susan Blackmore and Emily Troscianko, explores the key theories and evidence in consciousness studies ranging from neuroscience and psychology to quantum theories and philosophy. It examines why the term `consciousness' has no recognised definition and provides an opportunity to delve into personal intuitions about the self, mind, and consciousness.

Featuring comprehensive coverage of all core topics in the field, this edition includes:

  • Why the problem of consciousness is so hard
  • Neuroscience and the neural correlates of consciousness
  • Why we might be mistaken about our own minds
  • The apparent difference between conscious and unconscious
  • Theories of attention, free will, and self and other
  • The evolution of consciousness in animals and machines
  • Altered states from meditation to drugs and dreaming

Complete with key concept boxes, profiles of well-known thinkers, and questions and activities suitable for both independent study and group work, Consciousness provides a complete introduction to this fascinating field. Additional resources are available on the accompanying companion website: www.routledge.com/cw/blackmore

Industry Reviews

Competent, entertaining and accessible. It covers an enormous range of topics from machine consciousness to altered states and secular spirituality. This new edition is probably the best introduction to the exploding field of consciousness studies.

Thomas Metzinger, Philosophisches Seminar, Johannes Gutenberg-Universitat Mainz, Germany

Blackmore and Troscianko's book remains the best introduction to consciousness on the market. The sheer breadth of literature that is reviewed and evaluated will not only satisfy the most enquiring of academic minds, but also succeeds in delivering a great deal of academic content in an enjoyable, readable and accessible style for any interested reader. It provides a comprehensive introduction to so many relevant features of consciousness, making it the go-to book for anyone interested in the field. Blackmore and Troscianko have managed what might have seemed impossible: they've made a great book even greater.

Guy Saunders, Senior Lecturer in Consciousness Studies, University of the West of England, UK

Revised, updated, and supplemented with new perspectives, this third edition is a friendly and sure-footed guide through the dense forest of consciousness studies. Packing their text with activities, practice exercises, and quotations, the authors not only inform their readers about the science and philosophy of consciousness, but also teach them how to think about the topic for themselves. A superb introduction to a fascinating field.

Keith Frankish, Honorary Reader in Philosophy, The University of Sheffield, UK

What is consciousness, and how can it arise within the natural order? This remarkable book offers concise, colourful, and provocative windows into nearly every corner of this complex, multi-disciplinary debate. The result is a comprehensive, user-friendly guide to one of the most conceptually puzzling and scientifically challenging questions of our time.

Andy Clark FBA, FRSE, Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, University of Edinburgh, UK


What's the problem?

What is it like to be...?

Conscious and unconscious action PART TWO: THE WORLD

The theatre of the mind

Attention and timing

The grand illusion PART THREE: THE SELF

Egos, bundles and multiple selves

Theories of self

Agency and free will PART FOUR: THE BRAIN

The neural correlates of consciousness

The unity of consciousness


The evolution and consciousness

The function of consciousness


Minds and machines

Could a machine be conscious

How to build a conscious machine PART SEVEN: BORDERLANDS

Unconscious processing

Reality and imagination


Drugs and altered states

Sleep, dreams, and hypnotic states

Exceptional human experience PART NINE: FIRST-PERSON APPROACHES

The view from within

Meditation and mindfulness

Waking up

ISBN: 9781138801318
ISBN-10: 1138801313
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 618
Published: 30th April 2018
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.5 x 19.0  x 2.9
Weight (kg): 1.38
Edition Number: 3
Edition Type: New edition

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