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Updated 10 July 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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1990

Peter Unger
Identity, Consciousness, and Value
(Oxford 1990)

In a fascinating new contribution to the lively discussion on personal identity, Unger presents a psychologically aimed, but physically based account of our identity over time. While supporting the account, he explains why many influential contemporary philosophers have underrated the importance of physical continuity to our survival. See Oxford | Amazon | Google

Euan Squires
Conscious Mind in the Physical World
(CRC Press 1990)

Can physical things be conscious or is consciousness forever outside the range of physics? How does consciousness interact with physical things? A lively account of quantum theory and its puzzles, this book explores philosophical issues such as idealism and free will and speculates on the relationship of consciousness to quantum mechanics. See CRC Press | Amazon | Google

Hubert L. Dreyfus
Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heidegger’s Being and Time, Division I
(MIT 1990)

A guide to one of the most influential philosophical works of this century: Division I of Part One of Being and Time, where Martin Heidegger works out an original account of being-in-the-world which he then uses to ground a profound critique of traditional ontology and epistemology. Dreyfus’s commentary opens the way for a new appreciation of this difficult philosopher. See MIT | Amazon | Google

William J. Friedman
About Time: Inventing the Fourth Dimension
(MIT 1990)

Few problems are as intriguing or as difficult as understanding the nature of time. Friedman provides a new integrated look at research on the psychological processes that underlie the human experience of time. He explains what psychologists have discovered about temporal perception and cognition since the publication of Paul Fraisse’s The Psychology of Time in 1963. See Amazon | Google

Henry M. Wellman
The Child’s Theory of Mind
(MIT Press 1990)

Do children have a theory of mind? If they do, at what age is it acquired? What is the content of the theory, and how does it differ from that of adults? Henry M. Wellman is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. See MIT | Amazon

Nicholas Jolley
The Light of the Soul: Theories of Ideas in Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes
(Oxford 1990)

The concept of an “idea” played a central role in 17th-century theories of mind and knowledge but philosophers were divided over the nature of ideas. This book examines a little-known debate on this question among Leibniz, Malebranche, and Descartes. Jolley demonstrates that the debate has serious implications for a number of major topics in 17th-century philosophy. See Oxford | Google | Amazon