Conversations on Consciousness
What the best minds think about the brain, free will, and what it means to be human
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Oxford Univ. Press
BACK COVER #Some of the world's leading thinkers discuss their ideas about the mind and other key issues of philosophy
"[Free will is] a bit like the whole dance of Shiva thing, that you think you're an aloof spectator watching the universe, but actually you're just a part of the cosmic ebb and flow of the world...You're a part of this grand scheme of things."
-- V.S. Ramachandran
"Imagine riding around a very complicated robot that has billions of circuits inside that's doing all kinds of interesting things...That's really the position we're in with our own minds."
-- Daniel Wegner
"It's not just about the behavioural disposition that I go and rub my mouth and moan...Right now, you really have a bad toothache and you don't have pain medication because you're out there in the mountains. It's not very convincing to tell me 'Sorry, you're just linguistically confused'. It just doesn't cut it."
-- Christof Koch
"What we would eventually like is an explanation. That is, we would be able to look at the physical processes in the brain and say 'Aha! Now I see why this gives rise to a subjective experience of this kind.' Right now nobody has a clue about that."
-- David Chalmers
I think in years to come we'll be able to download our personalities onto computers and have them live on in virtual worlds after we die. Then our consciousness will survive death."
-- Kevin O'Regan