Synopses & Reviews
Is consciousness nothing more than brain tissue, as Daniel Dennett argues in his best-selling Consciousness Explained? Or, as others claim, is it a fundamental reality like space, time, and matter? In recent years the nature of consciousnessour immediately known experienceshas taken its place as the most profound problem that science faces. Now in this brilliant and thoroughly accessible new book Colin McGinn takes a provocative position on this perplexing problem. Arguing that we can never truly know” consciousnessthat the human intellect is simply not equipped to unravel this mysteryhe demonstrates that accepting this limitation in fact opens up a whole new field of investigation. Indeed, he asserts, consciousness is the best place from which to begin to understand the internal make-up of human intelligence, to investigate our cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and to explore the possibility of machine minds. In elegant prose, McGinn explores the implications of this Mysterian positionsuch as the new value it gives to the power of dreams and of introspectionand challenges the reader with intriguing questions about the very nature of our minds and brains.
One of our most original thinkers addresses the premier question of science and philosophy: Can consciousness be explained?