Inducing Consciousness on the Way to Cognition

  • Also available as: Perfect Bound Softcover
  • Published: November 2001
  • Format: Dust Jacket Hardcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 124
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781403300003

This book gives a very good account of consciousness, tying it into the informational states of cognition.  The advantage of the approach in this book is primarily that it is done according to quite an integrated methodology, beginning with evolutionary considerations and bringing in various scientific, psychological, and philosophical aspects of both consciousness and cognition to show that essentially consciousness belongs to the process of cognition. 

Consciousness arises from the process of becoming that results from induction in the brain, either in the mode of cognitive induction or as electromagnetic induction.  The case for this is made on several grounds, and especially according to the way in which we know things primarily while these are changing.  Also it is argued both that the processing of data happens too fast and is too integrated to happen via the relatively slow and low-information transfers at the synapses.  “Cross-talk” between nerves cannot be prevented and has to enter into the consideration of cognition at least, but more importantly such a process explains how it is that we actually can know the information that goes into producing an action.  They are, and have to be, the same information, and we become conscious as a part of producing action, at least mental action.

Although declining to publish this book, Executive Editor for the Humanities Lindsay Waters at Harvard University Press stated that the project “--looks very interesting,” based on summaries and samples of the book.  Acquisitions editor Jane Bunker, at one of the major US academic publishers in the field of consciousness, the State University of New York Press, wrote:  “Although the manuscript you propose seems to us a sound and in many ways appealing one, our study of the project has yielded serious marketing concerns,” (also based on synopses and excerpts).  I am testing the marketing at present, and I hope that soundness gratifies more than just the author.

At any rate, one has to appreciate the fact that a conservative establishment can be made to recognize the virtue of a good work. 

While unquestionably the book is challenging, it largely avoids jargon and fortunately lacks the specialized narrowness of academia.  The work brings up a good many issues that have been neglected in both cognition and in consciousness, such as the location of the conscious and that of the unconscious, and the passage between the two.  It could be read for this attention to neglected questions alone.  However it does present a good set of arguments for identifying the neural correlate of consciousness as being the internal process of induction arising within the brain.  For all of these reasons, this book is a substantial contribution to understanding one of the greatest mysteries of the universe. 

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