How is consciousness possible? What biological purpose does it serve? And why do we value it so highly? In Soul Dust, the psychologist Nicholas Humphrey, a leading figure in consciousness research, proposes a startling new theory. Consciousness, he argues, is nothing less than a magical-mystery show that we stage for ourselves inside our own heads. This self-made show lights up the world for us and makes us feel special and transcendent. Thus consciousness paves the way for spirituality, and allows us, as human beings, to reap the rewards, and anxieties, of living in what Humphrey calls the "soul niche."
Tightly argued, intellectually gripping, and a joy to read, Soul Dust provides answers to the deepest questions. It shows how the problem of consciousness merges with questions that obsess us all--how life should be lived and the fear of death. Resting firmly on neuroscience and evolutionary theory, and drawing a wealth of insights from philosophy and literature, Soul Dust is an uncompromising yet life-affirming work--one that never loses sight of the majesty and wonder of consciousness.
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"Just as fairy dust sprinkled on the mundane world turns it to gold, soul dust converts animal flesh into the enchanted world of sensation and self-consciousness. The result is illusion, but the illusion in which we live. This challenging and original book combines scientific rigor and exquisite sensitivity to the thoughts of philosophers, poets, writers, religious thinkers, and humanists. A delightful and thought-provoking tour de force."--Simon Blackburn, author of Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy
"As protean as consciousness itself, Nicholas Humphrey culls from neuroscience, evolutionary biology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and poetry to create a spirited and impassioned intellectual adventure."--Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction
"Humphrey, a theoretical psychologist at the top of his game, combines the romantic spirit of a Shelley or Keats with the razor-sharp intellect of a Sherlock Holmes. Here he brings his incisive mind to bear on one of the great riddles of science--the evolutionary origin of consciousness--and presents the best-yet solution to the supposedly insuperable problem."--V. S. Ramachandran, author of The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human
"Scientists sometimes stand accused of missing the magic as they reduce nature to explanations. In this surprising and poetic book, Nicholas Humphrey does the opposite: he delves into the brain and discovers that the magic is the whole point of consciousness."--Matt Ridley, author of The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature
"Soul Dust is a must-read for everyone who wonders about the mystery of consciousness. Humphrey has come as close as any scientist ever has to solving the 'hard problem.'"--Arien Mack, New School for Social Research
"Nicholas Humphrey is a gifted scientific humanist who is able to integrate an extraordinary range of work from cognitive neuroscience, literature, and philosophy in offering his answer to the questions of what consciousness is, why it was selected for, and how it both causes and solves the problems of the meaning of life. This is a provocative book from a sparkling writer."--Owen Flanagan, Duke University
Nicholas Humphrey has held posts at Oxford and Cambridge universities, and is now professor emeritus of psychology at the London School of Economics. His many books include "A History of the Mind" and "Seeing Red".
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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0691138621 Ships from Tennessee, usually the same or next day. Codice libro della libreria HCI9998JCGG062317H0535C
Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0691138621
Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0691138621
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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110691138621
Descrizione libro Princeton Univ Pr, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Brand New. 1st edition edition. 256 pages. 9.84x5.91x0.59 inches. In Stock. Codice libro della libreria 0691138621
Descrizione libro Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0691138621 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW6.1240647
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Codice libro della libreria 97806911386261.0