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A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind

by Annaka Harris

What is consciousness? How does it arise? And why does it exist? We take our experience of being in the world for granted. But the very existence of consciousness raises profound questions: Why would any collection of matter in the universe be conscious? How are we able to think about this? And why should we?

In this wonderfully accessible book, Annaka Harris guides us through the evolving definitions, philosophies, and scientific findings that probe our limited understanding of consciousness. Where does it reside, and what gives rise to it? Could it be an illusion, or a universal property of all matter? As we try to understand consciousness, we must grapple with how to define it and, in the age of artificial intelligence, who or what might possess it.

Conscious offers lively and challenging arguments that alter our ideas about consciousness—allowing us to think freely about it for ourselves, if indeed we can.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: SciencePhilosophyPsychology & Mental Health

Reading time: 12 hours


Matt Mullenweg

What is consciousness? Where does it come from? Who is… Who’s listening to me talk right now and who is it that listens to you talk to yourself? All of these questions I find endlessly fascinating and is an area of in some ways a lot of study and in some ways much less than you would expect. So this was a very short book. You can actually get through it in just an hour or two. So I feel actually even better recommending it because it packed a huge amount of information and value into a very kind of tidy package. I always love when books are just as long as they need to be and no longer. So, this will definitely give you lots to talk about at parties or with friends. And I find just, it’s good from a philosophical point of view to sometimes think about and ponder these bigger questions.