I have written a book called The Science of Consciousness, published in early 2021 by Cambridge University Press. This page contains links relevant to this book and consciousness in general. I also consider myself a "psychonaut", interested in exploring my own consciousness and its limits. I have kept a dream diary for many years (see Chapter 13 on dreams). I hope people interested in consciousness will find these pages useful whether or not they have the book.
The book. See here for more information on the book The Science of Consciousness.
It is impossible to cover everything in great depth in one book. I hope to rectify that in this section. I would be grateful if you could please look here before emailing me with a question.
There are corrections and clarifications to the text, new research, news, consciousness in the press, extra stuff, including reviews of recent books, material for which there wasn't room, and so on.
Here also are corrections to the text, including typographic errors. There are also links to helpful web pages. I avoided giving links in the book because they sometimes change so quickly. Let me know if there are any broken links - they're all working last time I ran a check, but pages can disappear without warning.
Texts involve summarising and simplifying, but I hope I have not over-simplified, or simplified to the point of getting things wrong. Please contact me if you think I have.
There are also suggestions for further reading and book reviews.
You can get ancillary materials (slides and exam questions) and inspection copies of the book if you are an accredited instructor using it or considering using it as a text. To do this you must contact CUP (not me) via their webpage for the book.
FAQ. Questions I have been asked the book or about consciousness.
The additional material is organised on the following chapter-by-chapter basis.
Chapter 1: The Problem of Consciousness.
Chapter 2: The Mind-Body Problem.
Chapter 3: Do we have Free Will?
Chapter 4: Machine Consciousness.
Chapter 5: Animal Consciousness.
Chapter 6: Looking at Our Own Mind.
Chapter 8: Cognition and Consciousness.
Chapter 9: Perception and Consciousness.
Chapter 10: Consciousness and the Brain.
Chapter 11: Altered States of Consciousness.
Chapter 15: Drugs and Consciousness.
Chapter 16: Meditation and Transcendental Experiences.
Survival and Near-death experiences.
Chapter 18: Bringing it all Together.
Thanks to ...
Many people have taken the trouble to write to me about my book, and I will use some of their suggestions for any future edition as well as corrections and discussion in these pages. I'd particlarly like to thank: Gerry Griffin, Richard Loosemore, Stephen Mascari, Yew-Kwang Ng, Chris Ransford, Leo Ruickbie, all of whom have made me think about things I didn't think needed thinking about. I'd also like to thank a generation of students who took my option course on Consciousness at the University of Dundee, and who helped me to make sense of it all. I really do welcome feedback on any errors, omissions, or things that need to be clarified.
If you want an immediate or personal response, the best way of contacting is still to email me at [email protected].