Am höchsten bewertete positive Rezension
10 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich
Dissolving our last great mystery.
am 15. Juli 2000
This is an extraordinary book but an extraordinarily difficult book to read and understand. You will need to examine your own belief system about consciousness, set it aside while you read the book and try to understand the authors point of view.
Three philosophical ideas run through this book, the first two to be demolished by the author and the third to be put in their place. (1)"The Cartesian Theatre": This is the idea that there is a non-physical mind, separate from the physical brain, where all understanding and consciousness occurs. You can probably already see how this is no explanation at all. But it is a strongly held view by a very large proportion of the population. (2)"Cartesian Materialism": This is the idea that there is a "center" within the brain where all the understanding and consciousness occurs. Again you can probably see that this is no explanation either. It pushes the problem further into the brain and if we now look at this "center" for an explanation of consciousness we are left looking for a center within the "center" and so on in an infinite regress. Its many disguises will fool even the very attentive reader. (3)"Multiple Drafts Theory": This is the theory teased together from the many ideas of the author and his contemporaries. He presents this early on in the book and expands on it throughout the book by means of anecdotes, analogies and thought experiments and shows how this theory can explain well-known conundrums that are unable to be explained by other theories.
Reviewers of this book are basically divided into three camps depending on how they re-interpret the books title. (1)"Consciousness Not Explained": Well, what can I say? If you don't make the effort, if you have preconceived ideas about consciousness that you are unwilling to part with, if your anti-materialist stance causes you to read this book for the sole purpose of criticizing its contents, then you will never understand it. But you shouldn't blame the book for your shortcomings. (2)"Consciousness Explained Away": These reviewers are simply mistaken. The author explains that various things that consciousness seems to be is not what it actually is. He shows us how to think about consciousness thereby dissolving the mystery of consciousness. He does not explain away consciousness just the misconceptions about it and provides a theory to account for what consciousness actually is. (3)"Consciousness Explained": These reviewers accept the titles somewhat exaggerated claim as a bit of poetic license. The author himself says that he does not have a complete explanation of consciousness and fully accepts that parts of his theory may possibly be proven to be wrong. But the essential elements, he believes, will stand the test of time.
If you are firmly rooted in the Cartesian Theatre and won't budge, this book is not for you. If you unwittingly support some form of Cartesian Materialism, read this book very carefully. It will show you a much more satisfying way to think about our last great mystery.