Human Consciousness

Adam S. Arthur asa3h at galen.med.Virginia.EDU
Sun May 28 23:08:18 EST 1995


A few years back there was a series of articles in Science
dealing with this stuff.  The literature is so variegated and
the subject so tempting that I recommend you at least START
with periodicals before wading into some of these books.
Anything be the Churchlands (who are married I believe) or by
John Searle is a great place to start you theorizing and then
you can work your way towards the biology and anatomy.  Many
people in the area appear to theorize first and then look to
the anatomy for anything that might support their ideas.  My
best advice is to try to get a feel for how much you enjoy the
theorizing versus your need for something more grounded.  Where
you wind up on that scale is a personal preference sort of thing IMHO.

The crux is your definition of consciousness, which is another
good reason to start with the philosopher/psychologists:  they
worry the most about such issues.  Once you've figured out how
you want to define it, then you can start trying to figure out
what, if anything, physically generates it.

I find it interesting that several people here (here being the
Neuroscience group) are recommending Jayne's "The Origins of
Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" I read
that and found it to be a lot of fun but completely
unbelievable, almost off-the-wall.  I know nothing about how it
is regarded in the community.  Is this book really taken
seriously?
--
Adam Arthur		    "Education is what is left when what
University of Virginia	     has been learned has been forgotten."
School of Medicine '98	    			   -B.F. Skinner



More information about the Neur-sci mailing list