Consciousness : The Science of Subjectivity book cover
1st Edition

The Science of Subjectivity

ISBN 9781841697260
Published February 1, 2010 by Psychology Press
352 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The study of consciousness is recognized as one of the biggest remaining challenges to the scientific community. This book provides a fascinating introduction to the new science that promises to illuminate our understanding of the subject.

Consciousness covers all the main approaches to the modern scientific study of consciousness, and also gives the necessary historical, philosophical and conceptual background to the field. Current scientific evidence and theory from the fields of neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, brain imaging and the study of altered states of consciousness such as dreaming, hypnosis, meditation and out-of-body experiences is presented. Revonsuo provides an integrative review of the major existing philosophical and empirical theories of consciousness and identifies the most promising areas for future developments in the field.

This textbook offers a readable and timely introduction to the science of consciousness for anyone interested in this compelling area, especially undergraduates studying psychology, philosophy, cognition, neuroscience and related fields.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Background of the Science of Consciousness. Introduction: Consciousness and Its Place in the Scientific View of the World. 1. The Philosophical Foundations of Consciousness Science. 2. The Historical Foundations of Consciousness Science. 3. The Conceptual Foundations of Consciousness Science. Part 2. Central Domains of Consciousness Science I: Neuropsychology and Consciousness. 4. Neuropsychological Deficits of Visual Consciousness.  5. Neuropsychological Dissociations of Visual Consciousness from Behaviour. 6. Neuropsychological Disorders of Self-Awareness. Part 3. Central Domains of Consciousness Science II: Neural Correlates of Consciousness (NCC). 7. Methods and Design of NCC Experiments. 8. Studies on the Neural Basis of Consciousness as a State. 9. Studies on the Neural Basis of Visual Consciousness. Part 4. Central Domains of Consciousness Science III: Theories of Consciousness. 10. Philosophical Theories of Consciousness. 11. Empirical Theories of Consciousness. Part 5. Central Domains of Consciousness Science IV: Altered States of Consciousness.  12. What is an "Altered State of Consciousness" (ASC)? 13. Dreaming and Sleep. 14. Hypnosis.  15. Higher States of Consciousness. 16. Epilogue: Reflections on the Science of Subjective Experience. 

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Antti Revonsuo is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Skövde, Sweden, and Professor of Psychology at the University of Turku, Finland. He has been conducting research on consciousness since the early 1990s and has directed an undergraduate degree programme on consciousness studies since 1997. He is best known for his evolutionary–psychological theory of dreaming, the threat-simulation theory.


"With Consciousness: the Science of Subjectivity Antti Revonsuo has written a wonderfully clear, very well-organized and insightful introduction to the philosophical and empirical study of consciousness. ... He employs a crystal clear language and organizes his paragraphs and introduction of very diverse philosophical and empirical theories in an explanatory order. The shortness of the paragraphs makes it easy to digest new information. This is further aided by the short summaries and enumeration of discussion questions at the end of each chapter and the glossary at the end of the book. All of this makes this an excellent introduction in the study of subjectivity for the beginning student, but equally so for the conference participants in the big interdisciplinary conferences on consciousness." - Fauve Lybaert, University of Leuven, in Metapsychology Online Reviews

"Everybody talks about consciousness, but hardly anyone has written a textbook about it that could be used as the basis for a survey course. Revonsuo’s book closes that gap." - John F. Kihlstrom, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

"This book provides a major new discussion of consciousness, suitable for a wide range of readers. It is written in an admirably clear and scholarly way, and covers a wide range of issues thrown up by recent philosophical, psychological and neuroscientific research on consciousness. It would be excellent as a primary text for many introductory courses on consciousness, and I think this book will quickly become a major text in the area." - Steve Torrance, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Research in Cognitive Science, University of Sussex

“Revonsuo’s book is very well organized and as such offers a highly systematic approach to what is often a chaotic assembly of conflicting ideas. Students will particularly like the range and the inclusion of chapters on altered states, hypnosis and meditation, etc., particularly as some of this is the author’s specialty.” - Guy Saunders, Department of Psychology, University of the West of England