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Last revised 19 July 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


Rowland Stout (ed.)
Process, Action, and Experience
(Oxford 2018)

Experiences and actions are usually treated as completed events rather than ongoing processes. But only ongoing processes can be present to a subject in the way required for conscious experience and practical self-knowledge. This volume asks if we should take processes rather than events to be the proper subject matter of the philosophy of mind and action. See Oxford | Amazon | Google

K. Michaelian, D. Debus & D. Perrin (eds.)
New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory
(Routledge 2018)

Although philosophers have explored memory since antiquity, recent years have seen the birth of philosophy of memory as a distinct field. This volume—the first of its kind—consists of seventeen newly-commissioned chapters by leading researchers in the philosophy of memory and charts emerging directions of research in the field. See Routledge | Amazon | Google

Susan Blackmore & Emily T. Troscianko
Consciousness: An Introduction
(Routledge 2018, 3rd edition)

Revised, updated, and supplemented with new perspectives, this third edition of this classic book is a sure-footed guide through the dense forest of consciousness studies. The authors not only inform us about the science and philosophy of consciousness, but also teach us how to think about the topic. Previous editions 2003, 2010. See Routledge | Amazon | Google

D. M. Hutchinson
Plotinus on Consciousness
(Cambridge 2018)

Plotinus is the first Greek philosopher to hold a systematic theory of consciousness. Its key feature is that it involves multiple layers of experience: different layers of consciousness at different levels of self. This yields a rich experiential world and a robust notion of subjectivity, one remarkably different from that found in the Post-Cartesian tradition. See Cambridge | Amazon | Google

Andreas Elpidorou & Guy Dove
Consciousness and Physicalism: A Defense of a Research Program
(Routledge 2018)

Although physicalism has traditionally been understood as a metaphysical thesis, Elpidorou and Dove argue that there is an alternative and indeed preferable understanding of physicalism that both renders physicalism a scientifically-informed explanatory project and allows us to make progress on the ontological problem of consciousness. See Routledge | Amazon | Google

Loose, Menuge & Moreland (eds.)
The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism
(Wiley 2018)

Substance dualism has been dismissed as an archaic and defeated position in philosophy of mind, but in recent years, the topic has experienced a resurgence and has been restored to contemporary prominence by a growing minority of philosophers prepared to interrogate the core principles upon which past objections and misunderstandings rest. See Wiley | Amazon | Google

Thomas Natsoulas
States of Consciousness: The Pulses of Experience
(Cambridge 2018)

This book extends Natsoulas’ development of the psychology of consciousness by giving sustained attention to the stream of consciousness and its component ‘pulses of experience.’ His unrivalled scholarship across psychology, philosophy and cognate fields results in an in-depth analysis of sophisticated psychological accounts of consciousness. See Cambridge | Amazon | Google

Michael S. Gazzaniga
The Consciousness Instinct: Unraveling the Mystery of How the Brain Makes the Mind
(Macmillan 2018)

How do neurons turn into minds? How does physical “stuff”—atoms, molecules, chemicals, and cells—create the vivid and various worlds inside our heads? Gazzaniga puts the latest research in conversation with the history of human thinking about the mind, giving a big-picture view of what science has revealed about consciousness. See Macmillan | Amazon | Google

Gregg D. Caruso (ed.)
Ted Honderich on Consciousness, Determinism, and Humanity
(Springer 2018)

Fourteen original essays provide a comprehensive critical treatment of Ted Honderich’s philosophy, focusing on three major areas: (1) his theory of consciousness, (2) his extensive work on determinism and freedom, and (3) his views on right and wrong, including his Principle of Humanity and his judgments on terrorism. See Springer | Amazon | Google

Marc Champagne
Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs: How Peircean Semiotics Combines Phenomenal Qualia and Practical Effects
(Springer 2018)

It is often thought that consciousness has a qualitative dimension that cannot be tracked by science. Recently, however, some have argued that this worry stems not from an elusive feature of the mind, but from the nature of the concepts used to describe conscious states. Champagne draws on the philosophy of signs or semiotics to develop a new take on this strategy. See Springer | Amazon | Google

Joseph Levine
Quality and Content: Essays on Consciousness, Representation, and Modality
(Oxford 2018)

Joseph Levine draws together a series of essays in which he has developed his distinctive approach to philosophy of mind. All of the essays in some way respond to various materialist attempts to close the “explanatory gap” as well as outline a different conception of conscious experience that would accommodate the gap. See Oxford | Amazon | Google

Rocco J. Gennaro (ed.)
The Routledge Handbook of Consciousness
(Routledge 2018)

Given the explosion of work on consciousness in the last 30–40 years from philosophers, psychologists, and neurologists, there is a need for an interdisciplinary, comprehensive volume that brings together contributions from a wide range of experts on fundamental topics. This volume of 34 chapters fills this need. See Routledge | Amazon | Google

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

Galen Strawson is the Montaigne of modern philosophers: endlessly curious, enormously erudite, unafraid of provocative propositions, and able to describe them clearly. He also shares with Montaigne a fascination with the elusive natures of self and consciousness. The essays collected here draw on life, literature and philosophy. See NYRB | Amazon | Google

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

The dominant view of philosophers of perception is “direct realism,” on which the immediate objects of perception are distal physical objects. In contrast, those working in the neurosciences are persuaded that conscious experiences consist of reconstructions from information encoded in neural states and is hence indirect. This volume debates 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. See Penguin Random House | Amazon | Google | Siri Hustvedt review | Damasio interview