Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind

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HarperCollins, Jun 4, 2019 - Science - 144 pages
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As concise and enlightening as Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, this mind-expanding dive into the mystery of consciousness is an illuminating meditation on the self, free will, and felt experience.

What is consciousness? How does it arise? And why does it exist? We take our experience of being in the world for granted. But the very existence of consciousness raises profound questions: Why would any collection of matter in the universe be conscious? How are we able to think about this? And why should we?

In this wonderfully accessible book, Annaka Harris guides us through the evolving definitions, philosophies, and scientific findings that probe our limited understanding of consciousness. Where does it reside, and what gives rise to it? Could it be an illusion, or a universal property of all matter? As we try to understand consciousness, we must grapple with how to define it and, in the age of artificial intelligence, who or what might possess it. 

Conscious offers lively and challenging arguments that alter our ideas about consciousness—allowing us to think freely about it for ourselves, if indeed we can.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - steve02476 - LibraryThing

Nice little book about a tricky subject. Too much about panpsychism though in my opinion. Also, I’m not sure I agree with her use of Nagel’s definition of consciousness - but I appreciate that she did use a standard definition and her musings about it were thought-provoking. Read full review

Lights on: Exploring the Mystery of Consciousness

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Harris (I Wonder), a consultant and editor for books about neuroscience and physics, probes the limits of the current scientific and philosophical understanding of consciousness, exploring the ... Read full review

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About the author (2019)

Annaka Harris is an author, editor, and a consultant for science writers. She is the author of the children’s book I Wonder, a collaborator on Susan Kaiser Greenland’s The Mindful Games Activity Cards, and her work has appeared in the New York Times. She lives with her husband, the neuroscientist, author, and podcaster Sam Harris, and their two children.

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