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3.9 out of 5 stars8
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 1 August 2001
Although I'm generally rather unimpressed with the "Introducing ..." series (too many snazzy, and sometimes inappropriate, pictures, not enough depth), this particular book I found rather enjoyable and informative. Consciousness is a notoriously difficult subject to write about. Many authors feel rather too strongly about their views on consciousness, produce pedantic prose, and find it hard to steer away from prejudice. This book provides a whirlwind tour of 2000 years of philosophical thought on consciousness and manages to remain very accessible and refreshingly non-partisan. When finishing this book you won't know what consciousness really is, nor will you be entirely sure what the author's own views on the subject are, but you will have had a nice little intellectual journey exploring the dead ends and muddles that previous (and contemporary) thinkers on the subject got themselves into.
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on 9 December 2010
Regrettably, Amazon doesn't mention in the book's specification that this title is simply a reprint of 2000, the newest references in the bibliography dating from 1997. In order to be fair with any potential buyer this circumstance should have been mentioned.
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on 20 July 2003
I've read a few of these "introducing..." books. Generally I like them, although they never provide much depth and often move to quickly. I tend to like them because they do (usually) provide a rough outline of the subject area and you can whiz through them in a couple of hours or so.
So picking up this book I expected to find two things. Firstly A broad description of the historical arguments surrounding the nature of consciousness. And secondly, the main areas of overlap with other spheres of thought.
I'm no consciousness guru but, I couldn't help thinking that for such a big issue the scope of the book is very narrow. The book only focuses on philosophical arguments and western thinking. There's absolutely no mention of Freud or Jung, almost no mention of neuropsychology, religion, sociological theory, any ideas from eastern schools of thought.
What makes this worst is the fact that the authors of this book demonstrate many of the ideas without crediting the original thinkers. Usually the "introducing..." books at least have illustrations of the big thinkers to support their sound-bite format. This time however, most pages contain illustrations of an anonymous, possibly random woman.
For me at least the book's lack of breadth and context has made it a pretty useless introduction. It offers few leads for further investigation and doesn't connect with much else I've read. Having read the book cover-to-cover I'm none the wiser.
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on 3 May 2012
For a beginner like me this was a great read. It was easy to follow and understand the different views on consciousness. Different views are explained, criticized, followed up and built upon with new ideas. It's easily finished in a day and gives you tons to think about. The only thing that felt a little off was the illustrations. They were fun but a bit useless and really didn't add anything special. They should try to have more instructive illustrations so that the ideas put forward in the book are better understood.
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on 16 September 2013
This book made a great attempt to survey the past and present views and arguments on the subject. The graphics included, really help you digest the sometimes difficult content. Would most defiantly recommend to anyone interested in the (or not, for that matter) in the subject.
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on 25 April 2016
Love this. It makes my brain hurt a bit even though it's set out as a simple guide, but I really like that. The woman in the illustrations looks like Germaine Greer but that enhances its ap p eal as far as I'm concerned.
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on 29 April 2016
Its an easy read and historically chronological.
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on 17 May 2016
good condition, im happy
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