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An Introduction

Second Edition

Susan Blackmore

Publication Date - February 2011

ISBN: 9780199739097

540 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

A groundbreaking and interdisciplinary exploration of "the the last great mystery of science"


Now in a new edition, this innovative text is the first volume to bring together all the major theories of consciousness studies--from those rooted in traditional Western philosophy to those coming out of neuroscience, quantum theory, and Eastern philosophy. Broadly interdisciplinary, Consciousness: An Introduction, Second Edition, is divided into nine sections that examine such topics as how subjective experiences arise from objective brain processes, the basic neuroscience and neuropathology of consciousness, altered states of consciousness, mystical experiences and dreams, and the effects of drugs and meditation. It also discusses the nature of self, the possibility of artificial consciousness in robots, and the question of whether or not animals are conscious.


* Profiles of important philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and biologists involved in consciousness studies

* "Concept" text boxes that elucidate specific aspects of consciousness

* "Practice" and "Activity" text boxes that encourage students to engage in practical exercises in class and at home

* Bold marginal quotations that emphasize key ideas, and suggestions for further reading

New to this Edition

  • · Updated with current research throughout
  • · New material on out-of-body experiences (Chapter 24), meditation (Chapter 26), machine consciousness (Section 6), reflecting new research and updated theories in recent years
  • · Enhanced art program with over 230 photos, tables and illustrations
  • · A Companion Website includes links to online papers and books wherever possible, links to new and emerging research, self-assessment exercises for students and instructors, and more information about the practices and exercises described in the book.

About the Author(s)

Susan Blackmore is a writer, lecturer, and Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth, UK. She is the author of Conversations on Consciousness (2006), A Very Short Introduction to Consciousness (2005), and The Meme Machine (1999), all published by Oxford University Press.

Previous Publication Date(s)

October 2003


"The main strength of Consciousness is that it covers all the cool stuff, all the consciousness phenomena that really capture the imagination. A great virtue is that the book is current; there hasn't been anything I wanted to talk about that isn't in it. You bet I will adopt the second edition."--William Lycan, University of North Carolina

"A strong virtue of Consciousness is that it is thoroughly interdisciplinary. Terrific coverage of attention and memory, empirical stuff, the unity of consciousness, damaged brains, hallucinations, and dreams--really first-rate material."--Andrew Pessin, Connecticut College

"Consciousness is an excellent companion to a primary source reader in a philosophy of mind course, or a stand-alone text in an introductory course on consciousness."--Lisa Portmess, Gettysburg College

Table of Contents

    *=New to this Edition
    Art Credits
    Boxes and Sidebars
    Section One. The Problem
    1. What's the Problem?
    2. What Is It Like To Be . . .?
    3. Conscious and Unconscious?
    Section Two. The World
    4. The Theater of the Mind
    5. Attention and Timing
    6. The Grand Illusion
    Section Three. The Self
    7. Egos, Bundles, and Multiple Selves
    8. Theories of Self
    9. Agency and Free Will
    Section Four. The Brain
    10. The Neural Correlates of Consciousness
    11. The Unity of Consciousness
    12. Damaged Brains
    Section Five. Evolution
    13. Evolution and Consciousness
    14. The Function of Consciousness
    15. Animal Minds
    * Section Six. Artificial Consciousness
    * 16. Minds and Machines
    * 17. Could a Machine Be Conscious?
    * 18. How to Build a Conscious Machine
    Section Seven. Borderlands
    19. Unconscious Processing
    20. Reality and Imagination
    21. The Paranormal
    Section Eight. Altered States of Consciousness
    22. Drugs and Altered States
    23. Sleep, Dreams, and Hypnotic States
    * 24. Exceptional Human Experience
    Section Nine. First-Person Approaches
    25. The View from Within
    * 26. Meditation and Mindfulness
    27. Waking Up