The EGO Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self Hardcover – 24 Feb 2009
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"Library Journal" "Metzinger's intended audience is the lay reader, and he does a superb job of presenting his theory and introducing philosophical issues related to consciousness.""Booklist" "Groundbreaking. This sophisticated understanding of the brain as an ego machine accounts remarkably well for the lived experience of being someone, a someone who transforms a bombardment of stimuli into a seamless present while still engaging in off-line planning for the future and reflection on the past.""Bookforum""Metzinger is crisp in his arguments and has a keen appreciation of essential ideas."
About the Author
Thomas Metzinger directs the Theoretical Philosophy Group at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and is an Adjunct Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Study. He is the former president of the German Cognitive Science Society and one of the founders of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. He has written and edited eight books, among them "Being No One"; "Conscious Experience"; and "Neural Correlates of Consciousness." He lives in Germany.
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Top Customer Reviews
Metzinger succeeds, in my opinion, in two key respects: Firstly, in showing why the broad sweep of his own thinking, with regards to the reductionist 'science of mind', is most certainly both reasonable and plausible - given the evidence in front of us - and even quite probable. Secondly, he succeeds, brilliantly, in identifying and clarifying many of the implications, or perceived implications, of that thinking, should it turn out to be, in its essence, correct. For example, Metzinger writes (p.130):
"If one takes the scientific worldview seriously, no such things as goals exist, and there is nobody who selects or specifies an action.Read more ›
Metzinger's copernican revolution in thought (he doesn't compare himself to Copernicus, though he probably thinks he's a later day revolutionary) is predicated on the rubber hand illusion and its cousin, the hyped-up out of body illusion. You can see both illusions on You Tube.
For the uninitiated, both illusion are impressive but if you open any psychology text book, there are pages upon pages of illusions and party tricks, like the picture that looks like a duck and a rabbit at once, or the image that can either be a young lady or an old women. These days, people are putting impressive optical illusions on Facebook all the time and persective illusion have been known for years. So these illusions are well known but no one is going to build an ontology on a party trick, which, if we are honest, is what the rubber hand illusion is. So keep this in mind when reading this still readable book.
Ego Tunnel worth buying because it is up to date on consciousness research and Metzinger is smart and you will benefit from what he says.Read more ›
However, for Metzinger this is only the beginning. He goes further to ask what this apparent truth means to humanity. Taking away some of our most cherished beliefs is potentially dangerous. However, denial is equally ridden with peril; prohibition is doomed to failure. Therefore, we need to rethink our ethics in the face of this consciousness revolution. Would it be morally right to allow people to artificially induce any mental state on demand? What will happen to humanity if the global population were to face the truth about their mortality? He doesn't offer any answers but states that it's about time that we started asking ourselves these questions. The truth isn't going away and we need to be prepared to face it. This is entertaining and deeply thought provoking - essential reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author states in his introduction that this is a publication designed to have popular appeal. Certainly, the text is far less dense than other works on the subject, but it has... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Caduceus
Quite a good challenge to our notions of the rational self with references to genuine scientific research.
I wasn't keen on the style. Read more
Thomas Metzinger obviously is one of those few people who can explain and describe complex topics in clear speech, making it all seem easy to understand. Read morePublished on 30 May 2013 by jummonk
A difficult read, makes you wonder why you bothered.Purely a personal opinion, but I got nothing out of this book.Published on 4 May 2013 by Mr. J. Schofield
I remember reading a review of this or perhaps "being no one" in New Scientist" in which the reviewer complained that he merely offered hard won scientific ideas and data in a... Read morePublished on 3 Mar. 2013 by DIV
If you want to have an impact into your life decision making, you need to know how your mind works. this book ca help you to reach itPublished on 31 Dec. 2011 by phoenix
Brilliant minds have laboured long and hard over the last two to three decades to arrive at the point where we have been able to plausibly deconstruct consciousness as an illusion. Read morePublished on 14 Oct. 2011 by John Ferngrove
According to Thomas Metzinger, we live in a sort of virtual reality. Everything that we experience is ''a virtual self in a virtual reality''...... Read morePublished on 13 Mar. 2011 by Simon Laub
I was quite excited to receive this book having read both the reviews and the blurb. After reading it I'm sadly feeling thoroughly mis-sold. Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2011 by Simon D