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Conversations on Consciousness: What the…
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Conversations on Consciousness: What the Best Minds Think about the Brain,… (original 2005; edição 2007)

por Susan Blackmore

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319561,093 (3.72)1
"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 JohnSearle, 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, andstimulating. 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 surroundingconsciousness, 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.… (mais)
Membro:dwhogg
Título:Conversations on Consciousness: What the Best Minds Think about the Brain, Free Will, and What It Means to Be Human
Autores:Susan Blackmore
Informação:Oxford University Press, USA (2007), Paperback, 288 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Philosophy, Consciousness

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Conversations on Consciousness: What the Best Minds Think about the Brain, Free Will, and What It Means to Be Human por Susan Blackmore (2005)

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Somewhat interesting, at least in bits. Reasonably accessible to the lay person. But there are *no* answers, not even anything approaching a consensus on whether the problem is one for philosophers or for scientists. And Blackmore doesn't put her own words in (and her name on the book is why I wanted to read it).

And the interviewees talk about 'when I go to work each day' but don't give me a clue what they do... Think about this stuff? Nice job....

I wanted something concrete, something newer than Descartes and blindsight. My fault for not reading the blurb more carefully, I suppose. But still, this did promise to be more than it turned out to be. I wonder if progress has been made in the last 10 years since these interviews were conducted.... ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
The study of consciousness is a kind of singularity in science, because you’re studying precisely the most cherished quality of what it is to be alive. — Francisco Varela

As I was reading your book I had the thought repeatedly that some of the most powerful memes are not memes that everybody thinks and talks about, but the ones we specifically avoid.. I think society has a lot of unwanted thoughts that are transferred from one person to another by this desire for avoidance. — Daniel Wegner

In her recent book, Conversations on Consciousness, Susan Blackmore tackles the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness in a different manner, using dialogues with the world’s most famous scientists and philosophers who do research in the field of consciousness. The book is not an academic one with very well structured arguments, graphs of experiment results, lots of statistical evidence or many footnotes, and references but it provides a very clear panorama, or rather state-of-the-art of consciousness studies.

Is consciousness a fundamental property of universe similar to electromagnetism? Do our brain cells cause consciousness in a similar way that a moving magnet causes electric current? Is there a ‘consciousness field’? Do people have free will? What it means to see something ‘red’? What is the difference between the imagination / feeling of ‘redness’ and the neural correlates of seeing something red? Is this all about quantum computations taking place at the microscale in our microtubules or even smaller at some nanoscale?

From Sir Francis Crick to Sir Roger Penrose, from Ramachandran to Dan Wegner, from Churchlands to Searle, from Chalmers to Varela this book is a very good read for anybody who has done even a superficial thinking on consciousness, what it really means to be humanly conscious, on the consciousness levels of animals and the excruciating problem of free will. It will clarify your thoughts, help you understand famous arguments (created, described and debated in a heated manner, and frankly, if I may say so), ask the questions you haven’t asked before and maybe set your journey in consciousness with new questions. Blackmore also written a very short glossary and provided references to key articles so that the avid reader can further his or her research in this area. ( )
1 vote EmreSevinc | Sep 11, 2009 |
Involves about 25 conversations with leading philosophers and neuroscientists on consciousness and free will. It's inevitably rather repetitive given the format (half the people give almost identical answers to why consciousness is an important or difficult topic, and what free will is), and there are times when both Blackmore's or her interviewee's conversations are rather unintelligent or incoherent. But on the whole it was reasonably interesting, with some useful insights and clarifications. ( )
  RachDan | Jul 15, 2008 |
Interviews with the likes of Chalmers, Crick, Penrose, and Searle -- 20 in all. I especially liked Paul and Patricia Churchland, whose approach is even more no-nonsense than Dennett's.
  fpagan | Oct 7, 2006 |
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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 JohnSearle, 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, andstimulating. 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 surroundingconsciousness, 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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