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.
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
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.