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Mind Time The Temporal Factor In Consciousness (Paperback)

Author:  Benjamin Libet
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Product Details:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 067401846X
ISBN-13: 9780674018464
Sku: 31206323
Publish Date: 4/10/2007
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.25H x 5.25L x 1T
Pages:  248
Age Range:  NA
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Our subjective inner life is what really matters to us as human beings--and yet we know relatively little about how it arises. Over a long and distinguished career Benjamin Libet has conducted experiments that have helped us see, in clear and concrete ways, how the brain produces conscious awareness. For the first time, Libet gives his own account of these experiments and their importance for our understanding of consciousness. "Libet only dared switch to the study of consciousness after he got tenure. It is fortunate for us that he did, and that he has presented us here with what amounts to a retrospective exhibition of his work ... The refreshing result is that we are immediately engaged in an earnest one-to-one tutorial with [him] ... In [his] work, philosophers have found grist for what they do best. Indeed, his experiments ... must rank as one of the major contributions of experimental psychology to modern philosophy of mind." --Kevan Martin, Nature "What makes Benjamin Libet different from all the others writing on [consciousness] ... is that he has actually spent the past 40 years experimenting on the topic. His findings have played a central role in others' speculations. Now he has put his life's work into a single short book." --Steven Rose, New Scientist
From the Publisher:

Our subjective inner life is what really matters to us as human beings--and yet we know relatively little about how it arises. Over a long and distinguished career Benjamin Libet has conducted experiments that have helped us see, in clear and concrete ways, how the brain produces conscious awareness. For the first time, Libet gives his own account of these experiments and their importance for our understanding of consciousness.

Most notably, Libet's experiments reveal a substantial delay--the "mind time" of the title--before any awareness affects how we view our mental activities. If all conscious awarenesses are preceded by unconscious processes, as Libet observes, we are forced to conclude that unconscious processes initiate our conscious experiences. Freely voluntary acts are found to be initiated unconsciously before an awareness of wanting to act--a discovery with profound ramifications for our understanding of free will.

How do the physical activities of billions of cerebral nerve cells give rise to an integrated conscious subjective awareness? How can the subjective mind affect or control voluntary actions? Libet considers these questions, as well as the implications of his discoveries for the nature of the soul, the identity of the person, and the relation of the non-physical subjective mind to the physical brain that produces it. Rendered in clear, accessible language, Libet's experiments and theories will allow interested amateurs and experts alike to share the experience of the extraordinary discoveries made in the practical study of consciousness.

Product Attributes
Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0248
Product attributePublisher:   Harvard University Press
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