Book Review: The Crucible of Consciousness: An Integrated Theory of Mind and Brain by Zoltan Torey
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: The MIT Press; Reprint edition (June 30, 2009)
The scientific study of the mind, of human consciousness, is a recent development. Obviously it isn’t easy as the mind is both the instrument and object of study. For a long time scientists ruled consciousness “out of bounds”, as not open to such rational investigations. And mystical or religious interpretations exerted too much influence in this area. The explanations and models have inevitably been mythical or simplistic – because of the reliance more on subjective feelings than empirical evidence. Dualist models have usually predominated – even though their justification has been religious rather than empirical.
These models and ideas have not helped the study of the human mind. They have, if anything, been a diversion. Zoltan Torey, author of Crucible of Consciousness, stresses that we can only make progress in this area when we have an empirically based model to work with.
Posted in book review, Dennett, evolution, science, Science, supernatural, superstition
Tagged brain, consciousness, evolution, Mind, Murray Gell-Mann, quantum mechanics, scientific method
Ever wondered about those short recommendations featured on the covers of books. Sometimes I am shocked to see a recommendation from someone I respect for a book I know is rubbish.
Well, this exchange of letters (see But will they come when you do call for them?) over a “recommendation” of Murray Gell-Mann for a book by Stuart Pivar provides an insight. It seems that we can’t always believe what is written on book covers – let alone what’s between them.
Book Review: Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness, by Victor Stenger
Published May 12, 2009
There’s something about modern physics, especially quantum mechanics, which attracts magical thinking. Perhaps this isn’t surprising. Someone once said that because quantum mechanics is so counter-intuitive, because no one really understands it, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using it to “explain” anything else we don’t understand. Consciousness is a prime example.
Posted in agnostic, agnosticism, atheism, belief, Bible, book review, culture, diversity, faith, religion, science, supernatural, superstition, theology
Tagged Michael Shermer, Murray Gell-Mann, Philosophy of Science, physics, quantum mechanics, religion, Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff, theology, Transcendental Meditation