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on 16 January 2015
This is not just a useful or interesting book. It is essential. The problem is that it requires a great deal of work to clearly understand what David Chalmers is talking about. When you do you will most likely feel that Stephen Hawking's statement that 'Philosophy is Dead' is the most stupid statement ever made by an intelligent person. David Chalmers highlights the real nature of consciousness in terms of its utter subjectivity and the significance of that along with the trend in science to "explain away" rather than properly explain consciousness. It is a subject that is as slippery as an eel and it takes someone of Chalmer's calibre to pin it down. Whether his thesis is ultimately correct or not is fairly irrelevant, what is vital is that the challenge of it is clearly understood and that the scientific community are constrained to provide a proper explanation for the one thing that is truly intmate to any human being and possibly many other creatures to. If you are interested in consciousness issues this book is truly essential.
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on 28 April 2013
I always enjoy listening to Chalmers discussing the "Hard Problem" - though I admit he frequntly leaves me exhausted!
This valuable book lays out much of his work on the subject over the past thirty years. From its first pages Chalmers accepts that this book (of nearly 600 pages) might appear "a fragmented read" and, in a score of introductory pages, he gives detailed, helpful advice to readers on how they might selectively choose their way through the contents. Thus, as he suggests, I dip into the contents, as and when I please, enjoying much and hearing his voice as I do so. Not always so, however, some chapters are tough!
Perhaps one day my Mind will comprehend it all. Meanwhile the book remains on my desk, close at hand, not on my book-shelves. Thank you Mr. Chalmers.
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on 20 April 2016
full exposition of the subject
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on 31 August 2011
David Chalmers is perhaps the greatest living philosopher of consciousness. The essays collected in this anthology of his best short writings for professionals are definitively classic. But many of them are hard work to read through. An introduction to the field this is not. Written over a period of a decade or so and published in a variety of outlets, the essays add up to a fascinating portrait of genius at work in a field where the final truth is still decades, if not centuries, away. By a curious coincidence, in 2009 I published a similar collection of my writings in consciousness over a decade or so - Mindworlds: A Decade of Consciousness Studies - and in effect dedicated it to David. Perhaps his new book, in concept if not in content, is his way of responding. Whatever the truth, his book is an absolute must for any dedicated consciousness buff. More serious appraisal must await peer reviews in professional journals.
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on 23 March 2011
The 'Type-F Monism' Chalmers advocates is very similar to Schopenhauer's Idealism. He has not read Schopenhauer, he admitted, and so it is interesting that very similar conclusions were arrived at.
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