Books like Consciousness Explained

Consciousness Explained

1991, Daniel C. Dennett


Consciousness Explained is a 1991 book by the American philosopher Daniel Dennett, in which the author offers an account of how consciousness arises from interaction of physical and cognitive processes in the brain. Dennett describes consciousness as an account of the various calculations occurring in the brain at close to the same time. He compares consciousness to an academic paper that is being developed or edited in the hands of multiple people at one time, the "multiple drafts" theory of consciousness. In this analogy, "the paper" exists even though there is no single, unified paper. When people report on their inner experiences, Dennett considers their reports to be more like theorizing than like describing. These reports may be informative, he says, but a psychologist is not to take them at face value. Dennett describes several phenomena that show that perception is more limited and less reliable than we perceive it to be.

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