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Essential Sources in the Scientific Study of Consciousness (Bradford Books) Paperback – January 30, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


Baars, Banks, and Newman have assembled the most important scientific work on consciousness of the last few decades, from modern classics to ground-breaking research. There is hardly a pivotal work or central topic not represented in this comprehensive volume. Nobody now working on consciousness will want to be without this splendid collection, both for the work it contains and the balanced, thoughtful overview it affords.

(David M. Rosenthal, Philosophy and Cognitive Science, City University of New York, Graduate Center)

This is a stunning collection of both foundational and cutting-edge works on the nature and functions of consciousness. The editors have provided an invaluable service by pulling together an enormous range of material allowing readers to appreciate in depth the many facets of this fascinating phenomenon. After the publication of this book no one ever again can reasonably question whether consciousness is an appropriate topic for scientific research.

(S. M. Kosslyn, John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James, Harvard University)

This book does not simply serve as an invaluable resource for researchers in cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, emotion, personality psychology, motivation, perception, social psychology, and related fields -- it also defines the new field of social neuroscience in the most effective way, by example. No library should be without this superb collection.

(Stephen M. Kosslyn, John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James, Harvard University)

About the Author

Bernard J. Baars is Senior Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego.

William P. Banks is Professor of Psychology at Pomona College and editor-in-chief of the journal Consciousness and Cognition.

The late James B. Newman was a member of the Department of Psychology at the Colorado Neurological Institute.


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Product Details

  • Series: Bradford Books
  • Paperback: 1206 pages
  • Publisher: A Bradford Book (January 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262523027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262523028
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,996,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Please see my Wikipedia entry (under Bernard J. Baars) and my basic theoretical ideas about consciousness under Global Workspace Theory.

I'm an experimental psychologist by training, and early on became deeply committed to understanding the fundamental questions of consciousness, volition, and self. When I got started that was not really allowed in academic psychology, but I persisted, and was able to make a difference over a long period of time. Currently we are seeing a historic wave of brain and psychological findings on those topics, which is so big that nobody is really keeping up with it all. However, with Dr. Nicole Gage, I've written an introductory college textbook that I believe does as good a job as possible, called "Cognition, Brain & Consciousness: An Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience." (Elsevier, Inc., Academic Press, 2007; 2nd edition is now in press). I've also written a general audience book called "In the Theater of Consciousness: The Workspace of the Mind". (Oxford University Press, 1997), and other works.

If the Amazon Kindle program works, I might do some Kindle publishing soon!

I am also interested in "higher" states, in altered mind and brain states, and in all the varieties of conscious and unconscious phenomena. It's a huge field, but we are learning a great deal. So we do our best to make sense out of it all; it's a tremendous amount of fun!

My co-editor Nicole Gage and I are very interested in hearing from instructors who are using, or considering our textbook. We ***NEED*** your input! If you are interested in consciousness from an up-to-date scientific point of view, you might consider our University of Arizona WebCourse, through the Center for Consciousness Studies, the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Thank you very much!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lee D. Carlson HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 27, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If thought about in retrospect, it is perhaps flabbergasting that the study of consciousness was not considered, and could not be considered, part of science. The impact of the behavioral school of psychology was no doubt both a symptom and a cause of this exclusion. The reasons though for excluding the study of consciousness from science are now properly given to historians, for, as this book is an indication of, extensive scientific research is now being done in this area, and this research is a fascinating story. Once thought to be the domain of mysticism and philosophy, research into consciousness has, finally, entered the domain of the laboratory. The arm-chair speculations of Edmund Husserll are now replaced by the fMRI scan and careful observations. In the words of Francis Crick and Christof Koch, who have written an article for this book, "the time to start the scientific attack is now."
The book is a collection of articles written by active researchers in the field. The preface and the introductory article are excellent and not only introduce the reasons for the book but also put the articles in historical perspective. The author addresses the skepticism of some scientists on whether there is any evidence of conscious experience as such. The articles in the book were selected according to their approach as treating "consciousness as a variable", similar to any other topic of scientific inquiry. He is aware of the problems associated with such a view though, since consciousness, he says, cannot be varied "from the inside". Decreasing it will cause us to lose the ability to observe anything, and the consciousness of others is not accessible directly.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Carlos Camara on October 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
What can somebody who is a science of consicousness freak say about a 1000 pages book about the psychological, cognitive, theorethical, neurological, and historical bases of consciousness? ......well, maybe "finally". This is THE definitive collection of papers on the science of consicousness, something that could only be said before about all three volumes of Towards a Science of Consicousness, edited by Hameroff.
Everything one needs to know to START an inquiry into this interesting field is here. Represented are those papers that started the whole cognitive revolution, all the way to the most recent theoretical investigations on consicousness. The only thing one who is familiar with the literature can disagree with is witht he inclusion and omission of certain key papers, but I am sure the editors had their hands full in making the books size acceptable and at the same time representative of the field. That said, it is impossible to ignore that Baars seems to have chosen some contributions on the basis of how much they are supportive of his global workspace model. I doubt this was made on purpose, however. Another objection could come from the absence of a neurochemistry of consicousness chapter, or a consicousness in quantum physics chapter. The former seems to me impardonable to have been left out, and the latter probably should have been there simply because of the popular attention paid to it, if not because of its shaky scientific foundations.
It is a custom of mine to declare a book on consicousness a must-have, but this one has the most merits to deserve such title. No one who has pronounced the word consicousness in a scientific context can do without this could also work quite well as a textbook for graduate level consicousness courses. One only hopes that many more editions are published, and that it can be someday extended to various volumes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nick M. Bentley on December 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you care about what Consciousness is, you'll read this book. It's one of the longest books you'll ever read, even if you're a scientist and you're used to reading inscrutable doorstops. But it also has more to say about what consciousness is than any other single source that I know of, and I've read just about everything.
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