The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self

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Basic Books, Mar 17, 2009 - Philosophy - 288 pages
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.

 

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User Review  - tomxtobin - LibraryThing

The Ego Tunnel is an interesting but unfortunately marred overview of the science of consciousness. The lesser issue is Metzinger's somewhat awkward prose: he never completely succeeds in his goal of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

A philosophy-of-consciousness popularization, quite readable, and taking account of some results from neuroscience and some societal applications. Metzinger acknowledges that a true understanding of consciousness is far off. Read full review

Contents

Title Page
ONE THE APPEARANCE OF A WORLD
TWO A TOUR OF THE TUNNEL
THREE OUT OF THE BODY AND INTO THE MIND
FOUR FROM OWNERSHIP TO AGENCY TO FREE WILL
FIVE PHILOSOPHICAL PSYCHONAUTICS What Can We Learn from Lucid
ALLAN HOBSON
SIX THE EMPATHIC
CONVERSATION WITH VITTORIO GALLE
SEVEN ARTIFICIAL EGO MACHINES
EIGHT CONSCIOUSNESS TECHNOLOGIES AND THE IMAGE
NINE A NEW KIND OF ETHICS
NOTES
INDEX

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About the author (2009)

Thomas Metzinger directs the Theoretical Philosophy Group at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and is an Adjunct Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Study. He is the former president of the German Cognitive Science Society and one of the founders of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. He has written and edited eight books, among them Being No One; Conscious Experience; and Neural Correlates of Consciousness. He lives in Germany.

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