The Ego Tunnel

Author: Thomas Metzinger
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 9781458759160
Release Date: 2010-05-21
Genre: Philosophy

We're used to thinking about the self as an independent entity, something that we either have or are. In The Ego Tunnel, philosopher Thomas Metzinger claims otherwise: No such thing as a self exists. The conscious self is the content of a model created by our brain - an internal image, but one we cannot experience as an image. Everything we experience is ''a virtual self in a virtual reality.'' But if the self is not ''real,'' why and how did it evolve? How does the brain construct it? Do we still have souls, free will, personal autonomy, or moral accountability? In a time when the science of cognition is becoming as controversial as evolution, The Ego Tunnel provides a stunningly original take on the mystery of the mind.

The Ego Tunnel

Author: Thomas Metzinger
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780786744428
Release Date: 2009-03-17
Genre: Philosophy

We're used to thinking about the self as an independent entity, something that we either have or are. In The Ego Tunnel, philosopher Thomas Metzinger claims otherwise: No such thing as a self exists. The conscious self is the content of a model created by our brain—an internal image, but one we cannot experience as an image. Everything we experience is “a virtual self in a virtual reality.” But if the self is not “real,” why and how did it evolve? How does the brain construct it? Do we still have souls, free will, personal autonomy, or moral accountability? In a time when the science of cognition is becoming as controversial as evolution, The Ego Tunnel provides a stunningly original take on the mystery of the mind.

The Ego Tunnel

Author: Thomas Metzinger
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9780786744428
Release Date: 2009-03-17
Genre: Philosophy

We're used to thinking about the self as an independent entity, something that we either have or are. In The Ego Tunnel, philosopher Thomas Metzinger claims otherwise: No such thing as a self exists. The conscious self is the content of a model created by our brain—an internal image, but one we cannot experience as an image. Everything we experience is “a virtual self in a virtual reality.” But if the self is not “real,” why and how did it evolve? How does the brain construct it? Do we still have souls, free will, personal autonomy, or moral accountability? In a time when the science of cognition is becoming as controversial as evolution, The Ego Tunnel provides a stunningly original take on the mystery of the mind.

Being No One

Author: Thomas Metzinger
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262263807
Release Date: 2004-08-20
Genre: Medical

According to Thomas Metzinger, no such things as selves exist in the world: nobody ever had or was a self. All that exists are phenomenal selves, as they appear in conscious experience. The phenomenal self, however, is not a thing but an ongoing process; it is the content of a "transparent self-model." In Being No One, Metzinger, a German philosopher, draws strongly on neuroscientific research to present a representationalist and functional analysis of what a consciously experienced first-person perspective actually is. Building a bridge between the humanities and the empirical sciences of the mind, he develops new conceptual toolkits and metaphors; uses case studies of unusual states of mind such as agnosia, neglect, blindsight, and hallucinations; and offers new sets of multilevel constraints for the concept of consciousness. Metzinger's central question is: How exactly does strong, consciously experienced subjectivity emerge out of objective events in the natural world? His epistemic goal is to determine whether conscious experience, in particular the experience of being someone that results from the emergence of a phenomenal self, can be analyzed on subpersonal levels of description. He also asks if and how our Cartesian intuitions that subjective experiences as such can never be reductively explained are themselves ultimately rooted in the deeper representational structure of our conscious minds.

Neural Correlates of Consciousness

Author: Thomas Metzinger
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262133709
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Medical

This book brings together an international group of neuroscientists and philosophers who are investigating how the content of subjective experience is correlated with events in the brain. The fundamental methodological problem in consciousness research is the subjectivity of the target phenomenon -- the fact that conscious experience, under standard conditions, is always tied to an individual, first-person perspective. The core empirical question is whether and how physical states of the human nervous system can be mapped onto the content of conscious experience. The search for the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) has become a highly active field of investigation in recent years. Methods such as single-cell recording in monkeys and brain imaging and electrophysiology in humans, applied to such phenomena as blindsight, implicit/explicit cognition, and binocular rivalry, have generated a wealth of data. The same period has seen the development of a number of theories about NCC location. This volume brings together the leading experimentalists and theoreticians in the field. Topics include foundational and evolutionary issues, global integration, vision, consciousness and the NMDA receptor complex, neuroimaging, implicit processes, intentionality and phenomenal volition, schizophrenia, social cognition, and the phenomenal self. Contributors: Jackie Andrade, Ansgar Beckermann, David J. Chalmers, Francis Crick, Antonio R. Damasio, Gerald M. Edelman, Dominic ffytche, Hans Flohr, N.P. Franks, Vittorio Gallese, Melvyn A. Goodale, Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Beena Khurana, Christof Koch, W.R. Lieb, Erik D. Lumer, Thomas Metzinger, Kelly J. Murphy, Romi Nijhawan, Joëlle Proust, Antti Revonsuo, Gerhard Roth, Thomas Schmidt, Wolf Singer, Giulio Tononi.

Conscious Experience

Author: Thomas Metzinger
Publisher: Imprint Academic
ISBN: 0907845053
Release Date: 1995
Genre: Philosophy

The contributions to this book are original articles, representing a cross-section of current philosophical work on consciousness and thereby allowing students and readers from other disciplines to acquaint themselves with the very latest debate, so that they can then pursue their own research interests more effectively. The volume includes a bibliography on consciousness in philosophy, cognitive science and brain research, covering the last 25 years and consisting of over 1000 entries in 18 thematic sections, compiled by David Chalmers and Thomas Metzinger.

The Self Illusion

Author: Bruce Hood
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199969890
Release Date: 2012-06-15
Genre: Psychology

Most of us believe that we are unique and coherent individuals, but are we? The idea of a "self" has existed ever since humans began to live in groups and become sociable. Those who embrace the self as an individual in the West, or a member of the group in the East, feel fulfilled and purposeful. This experience seems incredibly real but a wealth of recent scientific evidence reveals that this notion of the independent, coherent self is an illusion - it is not what it seems. Reality as we perceive it is not something that objectively exists, but something that our brains construct from moment to moment, interpreting, summarizing, and substituting information along the way. Like a science fiction movie, we are living in a matrix that is our mind. In The Self Illusion, Dr. Bruce Hood reveals how the self emerges during childhood and how the architecture of the developing brain enables us to become social animals dependent on each other. He explains that self is the product of our relationships and interactions with others, and it exists only in our brains. The author argues, however, that though the self is an illusion, it is one that humans cannot live without. But things are changing as our technology develops and shapes society. The social bonds and relationships that used to take time and effort to form are now undergoing a revolution as we start to put our self online. Social networking activities such as blogging, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter threaten to change the way we behave. Social networking is fast becoming socialization on steroids. The speed and ease at which we can form alliances and relationships is outstripping the same selection processes that shaped our self prior to the internet era. This book ventures into unchartered territory to explain how the idea of the self will never be the same again in the online social world.

Writings on an Ethical Life

Author: Peter Singer
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 9781497645585
Release Date: 2015-04-14
Genre: Philosophy

The essential collection of writings by one of the most visionary and daring philosophers of our time Since bursting sensationally into the public consciousness in 1975 with his groundbreaking work Animal Liberation, Peter Singer has remained one of the most provocative ethicists of the modern age. His reputation, built largely on isolated incendiary quotations and outrage-of-the-moment news coverage, has preceded him ever since. Aiming to present a more accurate and thoughtful picture of Singer’s pioneering work, Writings on an Ethical Life features twenty-seven excerpts from some of his most lauded and controversial essays and books. The reflections on life, death, murder, vegetarianism, poverty, and ethical living found in these pages come together in a must-read collection for anyone seeking a better understanding of the issues that shape our world today. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Peter Singer, including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.

Body and Mind

Author: Keith Campbell
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess
ISBN: 9780268161033
Release Date: 1992-01-31
Genre: Philosophy

In Knowing the Unknowable God, David Burrell traces the intellectual intermingling of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian traditions that made possible the medieval synthesis that served as the basis for Western theology. He shows how Aquinas's study of the Muslim philosopher Ibn-Sina and the Jewish thinker Moses Maimonides affected the disciplined use of language when speaking of divinity and influenced his doctrine of God.

The Nonsense of Free Will

Author: Richard Oerton
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 9781780887449
Release Date: 2012-10-01
Genre: Philosophy

Did Myra Hindley deserve to be punished? Does any criminal? Is belief in free will an essential foundation for morality, or an excuse for unwarranted cruelty? Is free will a myth and, if so, can we let go of it? In this entertaining, accessible but deeply serious book, the author brings a refreshingly original approach to the age-old conflict between free will and determinism and comes down firmly against free will. But what does ‘free will’ mean? And if we rejected it, what would the consequences be? The author, a lawyer who has worked both on law reform at the Law Commission and in private practice, and has written legal and other books and articles, has turned to a subject which has interested him for over half a century. He strongly believes that it does not belong exclusively to philosophers. These questions should be of concern to everyone – and no one who is willing to look at them objectively should be afraid to judge for themselves and reach their own conclusions.

I Am a Strange Loop

Author: Douglas R. Hofstadter
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465030781
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Philosophy

An original, endlessly thought-provoking, and controversial look at the nature of consciousness and identity argues that the key to understanding selves and consciousness is the "strange loop," a special kind of abstract feedback loop inhabiting our brains.

Connected

Author: Nicholas A. Christakis
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 9780316071345
Release Date: 2009-09-28
Genre: Social Science

Your colleague's husband's sister can make you fat, even if you don't know her. A happy neighbor has more impact on your happiness than a happy spouse. These startling revelations of how much we truly influence one another are revealed in the studies of Drs. Christakis and Fowler, which have repeatedly made front-page news nationwide. In CONNECTED, the authors explain why emotions are contagious, how health behaviors spread, why the rich get richer, even how we find and choose our partners. Intriguing and entertaining, CONNECTED overturns the notion of the individual and provides a revolutionary paradigm-that social networks influence our ideas, emotions, health, relationships, behavior, politics, and much more. It will change the way we think about every aspect of our lives.

The Predictive Mind

Author: Jakob Hohwy
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191022616
Release Date: 2013-11-28
Genre: Philosophy

A new theory is taking hold in neuroscience. It is the theory that the brain is essentially a hypothesis-testing mechanism, one that attempts to minimise the error of its predictions about the sensory input it receives from the world. It is an attractive theory because powerful theoretical arguments support it, and yet it is at heart stunningly simple. Jakob Hohwy explains and explores this theory from the perspective of cognitive science and philosophy. The key argument throughout The Predictive Mind is that the mechanism explains the rich, deep, and multifaceted character of our conscious perception. It also gives a unified account of how perception is sculpted by attention, and how it depends on action. The mind is revealed as having a fragile and indirect relation to the world. Though we are deeply in tune with the world we are also strangely distanced from it. The first part of the book sets out how the theory enables rich, layered perception. The theory's probabilistic and statistical foundations are explained using examples from empirical research and analogies to different forms of inference. The second part uses the simple mechanism in an explanation of problematic cases of how we manage to represent, and sometimes misrepresent, the world in health as well as in mental illness. The third part looks into the mind, and shows how the theory accounts for attention, conscious unity, introspection, self and the privacy of our mental world.

Phi

Author: Giulio Tononi
Publisher: Pantheon Books
ISBN: 9780307907219
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Philosophy

An influential neuroscientist presents a narrative exploration of consciousness that covers such topics as the important and less-important regions of the brain, the shifting of consciousness with sleep and the role of awareness in an evolving consciousness. 25,000 first printing.

Brain Bugs How the Brain s Flaws Shape Our Lives

Author: Dean Buonomano
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393081954
Release Date: 2011-07-11
Genre: Science

“Excellent. . . . [Buonomano] reveals the intricate limitations and blessings of the most complex device in the known universe.”—The Atlantic The human brain may be the best piece of technology ever created, but it’s far from perfect. Drawing on colorful examples and surprising research, neuroscientist Dean Buonomano exposes the blind spots and weaknesses that beset our brains and lead us to make misguided personal, professional, and financial decisions. Whether explaining why we are susceptible to advertisements or demonstrating how false memories are formed, Brain Bugs not only explains the brain’s inherent flaws but also gives us the tools to counteract them.