On the Nature of Consciousness: Cognitive, Phenomenological, and Transpersonal Perspectives

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Yale University Press, 1995 - Psychology - 358 pages
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This book pursues an inquiry into consciousness that ranges from ancient Greece to empirical neuropsychology to the experiential traditions of introspection and meditation.
Harry Hunt begins by reviewing the renewed interest in ordinary consciousness and in altered and transpersonal states of consciousness. He then presents competing views of consciousness in cognition, neurophysiology, and animal psychology, developing a view of perceptual awareness as the core of consciousness potentially shared across species. Hunt next brings together the separate strands of neo-realist approaches to perception and thought, the phenomenology of imagery and synesthesia, and cognitive theories of metaphor. He develops an original cognitive theory of mystical experience that combines Buddhist meditative descriptions of consciousness and Heidegger's sense of Being. In relating both of these to James J. Gibson's views on perception, he avoids the various "new age" supernaturalisms that so often blight the transpersonal literature. Other themes include the relation between consciousness and time; the common perceptual-metaphoric rooting of parallels between consciousness and modern physics; and the communal basis of transpersonal states as reflected in a sociology of mysticism and a reinterpretation of parapsychological research.
  

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Contents

CONSCIOUSNESS IN CONTEXT PSYCHOLOGY PHILOSOPHY CULTURE
1
Cognition and Consciousness
26
HOW MUCH CAN NEUROPHYSIOLOGY TELL
49
Neural Zones of Convergence and Consciousness Awareness Systems
73
The Emergence of Primary Sentience in Protozoa and SelfReferential
93
THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
113
THE IMAGISTIC BASES OF CONSCIOUSNESS ORDINARY AND NONORDINARY CONTEMPORARY
139
Phenomenology and Some Limitations of Laboratory Research
161
TRANSPERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND THE REFLEXIVITY OF HUMAN EXISTENCE
197
A Logos of Sentience
220
CONSCIOUSNESS AND REALITY
239
CONCLUDING SOCIOLOGICAL POSTSCRIPT
277
Notes
297
References
313
Index
349
Copyright

A History of the CrossModal Theory of Mind
179

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About the author (1995)

Harry T. Hunt is professor of psychology at Brock University in Ontario.

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