Author(s): Susan Blackmore
Conversations on Consciousness is a series of twenty lively and challenging conversations between Sue Blackmore and some of the world's leading philosophers and scientists. Written in a colloquial and engaging style the book records the conversations Sue had when she met these influential thinkers, whether at conferences in Arizona or Antwerp, or in their labs or homes in Oxford or San Diego. The conversations bring out their very different personalities and styles and reveal a wealth of fascinating detail about their theories and beliefs. Why is consciousness such a special and difficult issue for twenty-first century science? Sue, herself a researcher into this controversial and difficult topic, begins by asking each of her colleagues this simple question and is immediately plunged into the depths of the debate: How do the subjective experiences we call consciousness arise from the physical brain? Is this even the right question to ask? Can zombies - people who behave outwardly just like others but have no inner mental life - exist? What can dreams tell us about consciousness? Should we all be learning to meditate? Do we have free will, and if not is it possible to live without it? With an introduction setting out the broad structure of the debate on consciousness, and an extensive glossary, this book provides an engaging and accessible account of the most challenging problem of all, through the words of some of the leading figures involved in seeking to solve it.
1. Introduction; 2. Bernard Baars; 3. Ned Block; 4. David Chalmers; 5. Patricia and Paul Churchland; 6. Francis Crick; 7. Daniel Dennett; 8. Susan Greenfield; 9. Richard Gregory; 10. Stuart Hameroff; 11. Christof Koch; 12. Stephen LaBerge; 13. Thomas Metzinger; 14. Roger Penrose; 15. Kevin O'Regan; 16. Vilayanur Ramachandran; 17. John Searle; 18. Petra Stoerig; 19. Francisco Varela; 20. Max Velmans; 21. Daniel Wegner; Glossary; Index