A History of the Mind: Evolution and the Birth of ConsciousnessBy Nicholas Humphrey
- Author: Nicholas Humphrey
- Publisher: Copernicus
- Edition: 1st
How does the water of the brain yield the wine of conscious experience? What is the link between bodily activity and our inner feeling of what its like to be ourselves? The problem of qualia-the so-called "hard problem" of consciousness-has intrigued philosophers, for generations, and remains the greatest challenge to contemporary science. In this path-breaking book, Nicholas Humphrey examines the issues in the fight of evolutionary history and proposes a solution very different from any previously offered. He suggests that instead of focusing on second-order mental faculties, or "thoughts about thoughts," we need to look at the raw sensations themselves that are central to all conscious states. He takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through little-known areas of biology, psychology, and philosophy, to discover the origins of all forms of self-awareness in the primitive pain and pleasure responses of our distant ancestors. Packed with psychological information and ingenious speculation, A History of the Mind not only recasts the debate about the nature of conscious experience but provides fascinating insights into many other topics along the way. Already a classic, this book is as informative and entertaining as it is profound.