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Download Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness (Unabridged), by Nicholas Humphrey
3.04761904761905 out of 53.04761904761905 out of 53.04761904761905 out of 53.04761904761905 out of 53.04761904761905 out of 5 3.05 (42 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nicholas Humphrey Narrator: Howard Elliso Publisher: University Press Audiobooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Consciousness matters. Arguably it matters more than anything. The purpose of this book is to build towards an explanation of just what the matter is.

Nicholas Humphrey begins this compelling exploration of the biggest of big questions with a challenge to the reader, and himself. What's involved in seeing red? What is it like for us to see someone else seeing something red?

Seeing a red screen tells us a fact about something in the world. But it also creates a new fact - a sensation in each of our minds, the feeling of redness. And that's the mystery. Conventional science so far hasn't told us what conscious sensations are made of, or how we get access to them, or why we have them at all. From an evolutionary perspective, what's the point of consciousness?

Humphrey offers a daring and novel solution, arguing that sensations are not things that happen to us, they are things we do - originating in our primordial ancestors' expressions of liking or disgust. Tracing the evolutionary trajectory through to human beings, he shows how this has led to sensations playing the key role in the human sense of Self.

The Self, as we now know it from within, seems to have fascinating other-worldly properties. It leads us to believe in mind-body duality and the existence of a soul. And such beliefs - even if mistaken - can be highly adaptive, because they increase the value we place on our own and others' lives.

Consciousness matters, Humphrey concludes with striking paradox, because it is its function to matter. It has been designed to create in human beings a Self whose life is worth pursuing.

The book is published by Harvard University Press.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Lynn | 12/6/2013

    " Brevity in a subject like this is a real advantage. I have read a number of books on consciousness that just seem to ramble on and on. This book by Humphrey cuts to the chase, and is jam packed with ideas. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ellen Nolan | 11/6/2013

    " I really liked this book. It is small and loaded with philosophical insight in the area of philosophy of the mind. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Howard Ellison | 6/5/2013

    " Prof Humphrey is a vivid and engaging writer. As an introduction to scientific/philosophical thinking, you could hardly beat this little book. He takes you on an adventure into unusual territory - yet one that's everyday to us all. l loved it, from the unusual perspective of having narrated this audio version. With all due modesty, my five stars are for the writing! Howard Ellison "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rahul Rajamuthiah | 5/2/2013

    " A philosophical take on the most crucial discriminatory of humans from other animals...consciousness. Seemed to lack a science base but more of an logic based argumentative style in exploring the idea of consciousness. "

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