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Too Academic for My Level of Understanding,
This review is from: Sciousness (Paperback)I quite enjoyed the opening piece "On Believing in Mind" by Seng-ts'an - it resonated quite nicely with some other Zen/Buddhist readings I have recently encountered.
Jonathan Bricklin's piece "Sciousness and Con-sciousness: William James and the Prime Reality of Non-Dual Experience" lost me at times - but that may reflect my relative non-familiarity of the topic. Heavy use of italics (and parenthetical asides) for emphasis and clarification were, at times, rather distracting.
Once I got into the pieces by William James himself, I quickly found myself overwhelmed. I found that if I sat the book down one day and picked it up the next I was unable to pick up the thread and would have to start over again. The problem seem to consist of partly my naivety of the concepts discussed and partly the outdated language and academic tone. When I was able to sit down and focus the "thought experiments" were mind-expanding but I REALLY had to work at it. Overall the William James' work reads like a work written for graduate students in philosophy at the turn of the century (unsurprising, since that is the era and environment of its writing).
I acquired this book via the Early Reviewer program on LibraryThing and review is also posted there.