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Last revised 31 August 2017
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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Euan Squires
Conscious Mind in the Physical World
(CRC Press 1990)

We have seen remarkable progress in our detailed understanding of the physical world, from the smallest constituents of atoms to the remotest distances seen by telescopes. However, we have yet to explore the phenomenon of consciousness. Can physical things be conscious or is consciousness something else, forever outside the range of physics? And 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 and powerful 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, revealing a rigorous and illuminating vocabulary that is indispensable for talking about the phenomenon of world. He explains the text by frequent examples drawn from everyday life and skillfully relates Heidegger’s ideas to the questions about being and mind that have preoccupied a generation of cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind. See MIT | Amazon | Google

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

Few intellectual 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 and offers fresh interpretations of their findings. 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 an important, but 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