Missives from a fly bottle
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Last revised 17 March 2018
Books on consciousness

A list of books relating to the hard problem of consciousness. Regularly updated cos I keep finding new stuff all the time.

Within author/title. Enter alphabets and spaces only. E.g., ramachandran brain


Galen Strawson
Things That Bother Me: Death, Freedom, the Self, Etc.
(New York Review of Books 2018)

Galen Strawson might be described as the Montaigne of modern philosophers, endlessly curious, enormously erudite, unafraid of difficult and provocative propositions, and able to describe them clearly—in other words, he is a true essayist. He also shares with Montaigne a fascination with the elusive nature of the self and of consciousness. The essays collected here draw on literature and life as much as on philosophy, and prompt both argument and wonder. See NYRB | Amazon | Google

John Smythies & Robert French (eds.)
Direct versus Indirect Realism: A Neurophilosophical Debate on Consciousness
(Elsevier 2018)

The philosophy of perception is not currently in an entirely healthy state. The dominant view of philosophers is “direct realism,” on which the immediate objects of perception are distal physical objects. In contrast those actually working in the neurosciences are persuaded that conscious experiences consist of reconstructions from information encoded in neural states and is hence indirect. In this volume, leading neuroscientists and philosophers come together to debate the issue. See Elsevier | Amazon | Google

Dale Jacquette (ed.)
The Bloomsbury Companion to the Philosophy of Consciousness
(Bloomsbury 2018)

From Descartes and Cartesian mind-body dualism in the 17th century through to 21st-century concerns about artificial intelligence programming, this volume presents a compelling history and up-to-date overview of this burgeoning subject area. An authoritative guide for studying the past, present and future of consciousness. See Bloomsbury | Amazon | Google

Antonio Damasio
The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures
(Penguin Random House 2018)

For too long we have thought of ourselves as rational minds inhabiting insentient mechanical bodies. Breaking with this philosophy, Damasio shows how our minds are rooted in feeling, a creation of our nervous system with an evolutionary history going back to ancient unicellular life that enables us to shape distinctively human cultures. This book will transform how we think—and feel—about ourselves. See Penguin Random House | Amazon | Google