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Archive for 'consciousness'

new book – ‘Beyond the Subjectivity Trap’ by Martin O’Dea

May 18, 2015

Beyond the Subjectivity Trap

Beyond the Subjectivity Trap by Martin O’Dea (Imprint Academic, 2015)

(amazon.co.uk)

Book description from the publisher:

Beyond the Subjectivity Trap challenges the paradigm of the hard problem of consciousness by contesting the relevance and primacy of human thought. By tracing the evolved egocentricity of the ‘I’ as an entrapping limitation on our thinking the book argues that once the Subjectivity Trap is understood and escaped we can appreciate the non-existence of the mind–body divide, the pure functionality of the brain, and the limitlessness of our potential.

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new book – ‘Consciousness, Attention, and Conscious Attention’ by Carlos Montemayor and Harry Haladjian

April 26, 2015

Consciousness, Attention, and Conscious Attention

Consciousness, Attention, and Conscious Attention by Carlos Montemayor and Harry Haladjian (MIT Press, 2015)

(amazon.co.uk)

Book description from the publisher:

In this book, Carlos Montemayor and Harry Haladjian consider the relationship between consciousness and attention. The cognitive mechanism of attention has often been compared to consciousness, because attention and consciousness appear to share similar qualities. But, Montemayor and Haladjian point out, attention is defined functionally, whereas consciousness is generally defined in terms of its phenomenal character without a clear functional purpose. They offer new insights and proposals about how best to understand and study the relationship between consciousness and attention by examining their functional aspects. The book’s ultimate conclusion is that consciousness and attention are largely dissociated.

Undertaking a rigorous analysis of current empirical and theoretical work on attention and consciousness, Montemayor and Haladjian propose a spectrum of dissociation — a framework that identifies the levels of dissociation between consciousness and attention — ranging from identity to full dissociation. They argue that conscious attention, the focusing of attention on the contents of awareness, is constituted by overlapping but distinct processes of consciousness and attention. Conscious attention, they claim, evolved after the basic forms of attention, increasing access to the richest kinds of cognitive contents.

Montemayor and Haladjian’s goal is to help unify the study of consciousness and attention across the disciplines. A focused examination of conscious attention will, they believe, enable theoretical progress that will further our understanding of the human mind.

Google Books preview:

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recent book – ‘The Shadow of Consciousness: A Little Less Wrong’ by Peter Hankins of Conscious Entities blog

April 23, 2015

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new book – ‘The Varieties of Consciousness’ by Uriah Kriegel

April 20, 2015

Varieties of Consciousness

The Varieties of Consciousness (Philosophy of Mind Series) by Uriah Kriegel (Oxford University Press, 2015)

(amazon.co.uk)

Book description from the publisher:

Recent work on consciousness has featured a number of debates on the existence and character of controversial types of phenomenal experience. Perhaps the best-known is the debate over the existence of a sui generis, irreducible cognitive phenomenology – a phenomenology proper to thought. Another concerns the existence of a sui generis phenomenology of agency. Such debates bring up a more general question: how many types of sui generis, irreducible, basic, primitive phenomenology do we have to posit to just be able to describe the stream of consciousness? This book offers a first general attempt to answer this question in contemporary philosophy. It develops a unified framework for systematically addressing this question and applies it to six controversial types of phenomenal experience, namely, those associated with thought and judgment, will and agency, pure apprehension, emotion, moral thought and experience, and the experience of freedom.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s website, with book introduction

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new book – ‘The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction’ by Matthew B. Crawford

March 31, 2015

World Beyond Your Head

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

A groundbreaking new book from the bestselling author of Shop Class as Soulcraft

In his bestselling book Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew B. Crawford explored the ethical and practical importance of manual competence, as expressed through mastery of our physical environment. In his brilliant follow-up, The World Beyond Your Head, Crawford investigates the challenge of mastering one’s own mind.

We often complain about our fractured mental lives and feel beset by outside forces that destroy our focus and disrupt our peace of mind. Any defense against this, Crawford argues, requires that we reckon with the way attention sculpts the self.

Crawford investigates the intense focus of ice hockey players and short-order chefs, the quasi-autistic behavior of gambling addicts, the familiar hassles of daily life, and the deep, slow craft of building pipe organs. He shows that our current crisis of attention is only superficially the result of digital technology, and becomes more comprehensible when understood as the coming to fruition of certain assumptions at the root of Western culture that are profoundly at odds with human nature.

The World Beyond Your Head makes sense of an astonishing array of common experience, from the frustrations of airport security to the rise of the hipster. With implications for the way we raise our children, the design of public spaces, and democracy itself, this is a book of urgent relevance to contemporary life.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s website

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