Philosophers on Consciousness: Talking about the Mind

Jack Symes

We know, more intimately than anything else, what it’s like to undergo a rich world of experiences: agonizing pains, dizzying pleasures, heady rage and existential doubts. But, despite the incredible advances of physical science, it seems that we’re no closer to an explanation of how this inner world of experiences comes about. No matter how detailed our description of the physical brain, perhaps we’ll always be left with this same question: how and why does the brain produce consciousness? This book is a short, accessible and engaging guide to the mystery of consciousness.

Featuring remastered interviews and original essays from the world’s leading thinkers, Philosophers on Consciousness sheds new light on the most promising theories in philosophy and science. Beyond understanding the mind, this is a journey into personal identity, the origin of meaning, the nature of morality and the fundamental structure of reality.

Contributors include: Miri Albahari, Susan Blackmore, David Chalmers, Patricia Churchland, Daniel Dennett, Keith Frankish, Philip Goff, Frank Jackson, Casey Logue, Gregory Miller, Michelle Montague, Massimo Pigliucci and Galen Strawson.

“This book is for everyone who is in the least philosopho-curious. Amateurs like me, thrashing about in the shallows, usually have to read every sentence in a book on philosophy, however apparently simple, at least four times before understanding it (and then forgetting it all the moment we have turned the page). Not so with Philosophers on Consciousness. Here are some of the world's most notable and respected thinkers, each adding their thoughts on the field known as ‘philosophy of mind’, most especially on the famous ‘hard problem’ of consciousness, and all communicating with remarkable clarity and approachable ease. Jack Symes guides us charmingly and authoritatively through, introducing and summing up the contributions, filling the role of interlocutor and interviewer, distributing delightful inline ‘info-boxes’ offering explanations of concepts, characters and context as you read. He does so with a wit and freshness that enlivens without trivializing. It cannot be common to find Toblerones, Paul Rudd and Adam Sandler sharing pages with the most distinguished philosophers alive. This is a book that everyone interested in the human mind will fall on like… like a hungry student on a Toblerone.”
Stephen Fry