Home » Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness (Mind/Brain/Behaviour Initiative) by Nicholas Humphrey
Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness (Mind/Brain/Behaviour Initiative) Nicholas Humphrey

Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness (Mind/Brain/Behaviour Initiative)

Nicholas Humphrey

Published
ISBN : 9780674030541
Paperback
160 pages
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 About the Book 

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 aMore 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. Whats 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 thats the mystery. Conventional science so far hasnt 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, whats 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.(20060315)