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Updated 6 April 2020
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.


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2020

Harry Redner
Quintessence of Dust: The Science of Matter and the Philosophy of Mind
(Brill | Rodopi 2020)

Redner argues for a science of matter and a philosophy of mind based on emergence. Mind emerges from matter through five essential stages, in an approach that comes close to Spinoza. The “mind as machine” thesis, artificial intelligence and cognitivism are criticised. The book advocates a philosophic synthesis of the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. See Brill | Rodopi | Google

Sümeyye Parıldar
Intentionality in Mulla Sadra
(Springer 2020)

This book reframes various parts of Sadrian theories of sense perception and mental existence around Brentano’s problem of intentionality, yielding a refreshed reading of the philosopher Mulla Sadra. Parıldar argues that, for Sadra, intentionality, intentional object, agent, and reality, are different versions of the same reality. See Springer | Amazon | Google

Amy Kind
Philosophy of Mind: The Basics
(Routledge 2020)

A concise introduction to fundamental philosophical questions about the mind. Examines issues concerning consciousness, thought and emotion, and addresses key questions such as: What is the nature of the mind?, What is the relation between the mind and the brain?, Can machines have minds?, and, How will future technology impact the mind? See Routledge | Amazon | Google

Ryan Hickerson
Feelings of Believing: Psychology, History, Phenomenology
(Lexington Books 2020)

In this provocative and illuminating book, Hickerson demonstrates that philosophers as diverse as Hume, Descartes, Husserl, and William James all treated believing as feeling. He argues that doxastic sentimentalism, therefore, is considerably more central to modern epistemology than philosophers have traditionally recognized. See Lexington Books | Amazon | Google

Anik Waldow
Experience Embodied: Early Modern Accounts of the Human Place in Nature
(Oxford 2020)

That humans are embodied entails that we are responsive and causally determined like other animals. While this makes us part of the causal fabric of nature, it questions our ability to act as free, rational agents. Waldow reveals how the early moderns responded to this challenge and offers a new perspective on the centrality of experience in comprehending our place in nature. See Oxford | Amazon | Google

Robert Audi
Seeing, Knowing, and Doing: A Perceptualist Account
(Oxford 2020)

Perception is a major concern of both epistemology and the philosophy of mind. Two important aspects of perception have however been underexplored: its relevance to understanding a priori knowledge and its role in human action. Audi provides a full-scale account of perception, a theory of the a priori, and an account of how perception guides action. See Oxford | Amazon | Google

Maura Tumulty
Alien Experience
(Oxford 2020)

Tumulty argues that one can sometimes be alienated from a perception in the way that one can sometimes be alienated from a desire. This has implications for many philosophical debates that tend to assume otherwise and illuminates how we think about self-control, bias, cognitive penetration, and representationalist perceptual theories. See Oxford | Amazon | Google

B. Brogaard & D. E. Gatzia (eds.)
The Epistemology of Non-Visual Perception
(Oxford 2020)

Most research on the epistemology of perception has focused on visual perception. This volume is the first to focus on hearing, touch, taste, and cross-sensory experiences. Drawing on recent studies of emotion, perception, and decision-making, it sheds new light on whether perception can yield justified beliefs and how to characterize those beliefs. See Oxford | Amazon | Google

Francesco Marchi
The Attentional Shaping of Perceptual Experience
(Springer 2020)

This monograph presents a clear account of when and how attentional processes can shape perceptual experience. The argument is based on the prediction-error minimization model of the mind. The author believes that the topic of attention should take a more central role in the debate about the influence of cognition on perception. Inside, he shows how this can be possible. See Springer | Amazon | Google

Jennifer Corns
The Complex Reality of Pain
(Routledge 2020)

This book argues that pain, though real, is not an appropriate object of scientific generalisation nor an appropriate target for medical intervention. Each pain experience is complex and idiosyncratic in a way which undermines scientific utility. Provides an overview of dominant models of pain and develops a novel position on its nature. See Routledge | Amazon | Google

David Christopher Lane (ed.)
The Illuminated Brain: Great Thinkers in Consciousness Studies
(Mt. San Antonio College 2020)

In the last century or so, the study of consciousness has attracted many brilliant thinkers from a wide range of disciplines. The following essays briefly explore the life and work of pioneers in the field, including Giulio Tononi, the Churchlands, Noam Chomsky, Timothy Leary, Terence McKenna, and Jean Pierre Changeux, among others. Each entry is written by a separate author. See Amazon

James C. Austin
The Disembodied Mind: An Exploration of Consciousness in the Physical Universe
(Cambridge Scholars 2020)

Can material things be conscious or is the mind separate from physics? Relying more on scientific evidence than philosophical argument, Austin argues for an objective mind unconnected with the physical. The mind has no effect on the physical domain, but, by free volition, navigates its way through a myriad of configurations that constitute the world we experience. See Cambridge Scholars | Amazon | Google