Susan Greenfield and Colin Blakemore

Mindwaves

The nature of consciousness is one of the hard problems of philosophy, but it isn't just a philosophical question - neuroscience is making significant progress in this area. Mindwaves, edited by Susan Greenfield and Colin Blakemore is a collection of 32 articles on various aspects of this subject, with many well know contributors such as John Searle, Roger Penrose, Marian S Dawkins and John Eccles.

The first part of the book looks at what constitutes a person - in divided brain patients are there two minds or one? The second part asks what degree of consciousness exists in animals.

There is then a section examining the possibilities of machine consciousness, followed by a look at how consciousness might arise from the physical structure of the brain. The last part of the book is rather a let down - philosophy of the worst kind, going on about the meaning of words and the like. For instance, you shouldn't say that the eyes communicate information to the brain because that implies a conscious receiver. But the advantage of a book like this is that you can evaluate the views of various people without having to plough through a whole book by each of them. Overall I would say that the diversity of viewpoints are helpful in making sense of a confusing subject, and, although it is nearly 20 years old, it would be a useful addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in the study of consciousness

Amazon.com info
Paperback 544 pages  
ISBN: 0631146237
Salesrank: 3043847
Weight:1.75 lbs
Published: 1989 Blackwell Pub
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 544 pages  
ISBN: 0631146237
Salesrank: 992515
Weight:1.75 lbs
Published: 1989 Wiley-Blackwell
Marketplace:New from £77.79:Used from £1.00
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Paperback 544 pages  
ISBN: 0631146237
Salesrank:
Weight:1.75 lbs
Published: 1989 Blackwell Pub
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 99.61:Used from CDN$ 4.76
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Product Description
`Nowadays the most fashionable view is that the brain is a digital computer, but in my childhood I was assured that it was a kind of telephone switchboard; Charles Sherrington compared the brain to a telegraph system and to a Jacquard loom; Sigmund Freud compared it to hydraulic pumps and electromagnetic systems; Leibniz compared it to a mill and I am told that certain Ancient Greeks thought the brain functioned like a catapult. The very latest view among neurophysiologists is that the brain functions like a Darwinian natural selection system.' from `Mindwaves' One of the most important areas of modern enquiry is opened up in this book to reveal its cornerstones and controversies, and itsfuture direction. Is the mind an entity that exists apart from the brain? Or is it simply another way of talking about the brain itself? What are the best models for understanding it? Is the relationship of brain and mind like that of computer hardware and software? Are computers a useful analogy for the workings of our own minds and if so how can a human mind have come to devise the analogy? These are some of the questions addressed in `Mindwaves' by specialists in brain research, philosophy, psychology, linguistics, psychiatry, physics and computer science. The contributors are: Michael Argyle, Horace Barlow, Gordon Claridge, Stephen Clark, John Crook, Marian Dawkins, John Eccles, Hans Eysenck, Brian Farrell, Jeffrey Gray, Richard Gregory, Peter Hacker, Roy Harris, Ted Honderich, Jennifer Hornsby, Nicholas Humphrey, Ed Hundert, Philip Johnson-Laird, John Krebs, Rodolfo Llinas, Colin McGinn, Donald MacKay, Nicholas Mackintosh, Euan Macphail, Derek Parfit, Roger Penrose, Paul Seabright, John Searle, Anthony Storr, Janos Szentagothai, Herbert Terrace, Larry Weiskrantz.