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Consciousness Reconsidered

Owen J. Flanagan (Bradford Books: December 1993), 250 pages.

This is one of the early philosophy books that started to make sense on the issue of consciousness. Comming from a decade where Joe Levine told us there was a gap, Frank Jackson that materialism left something out, McGuinn told us we could not understand it, the Churchlands wanted to get rid of the thing, this book is a great relief. Consciousness, according to Flanagan, is a natural phenomenon, rooted in the brain. It is real, capable of being defined, it evolved, and tractable scientifically. We need not despair, nor look in wrong and exotic places like quantum mechanics. Psychology, phenomenology, neurobiology and cognitive science will do. … This is good philosophy indeed. Consicousness is portrayed simply, as a natural phenomentol being understood through science. There are some objections one could make, but in all, considering the philosophical views of consicousness, this one is science friendly and informative. This is the kind of constructivism that one should expect from philosophers. ~ Carlos Camara at

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Ch. 1    Subjectivity and the Natural Order    1
    • Ch. 2    Quining Consciousness    21
    • Ch. 3    Consciousness and the Brain    35
    • Ch. 4    Qualia    61
    • Ch. 5    The Missing Shade of You    87
    • Ch. 6    The Mystery of Consciousness    109
    • Ch. 7    Conscious Inessentialism and the Epiphenomenalist Suspicion    129
    • Ch. 8    The Stream of Consciousness    153
    • Ch. 9    The Illusion of the Mind’s "I"    177
    • Ch. 10    Consciousness and the Self    193
    • Ch. 11    A Unified Theory of Consciousness?    213
    • References    223
    • Index    229