Human consciousness has perplexed philosophers, artists and scientists for centuries. Some hold it to be purely physical, while others believe it transcends the material world. Now comes a book that offers a new perspective - based entirely on evidence from the natural sciences - whereby materialism and dualism co-exist. The author - a distinguished pioneer of nonlinear dynamics - bases his argument on a hierarchical view of mental organization; a stairway. Atoms give rise to molecules, neurons form the brain and individual consciousness leads to shared culture. All steps are needed to complete the picture and each level derives from the previous one. The book shows specialists how each of their fields adds to the overall picture, while providing general readers with an introduction to this investigation.
The nature of human consciousness is a mystery that philosophers, artists, and scientists have struggled with for centuries. Is consciousness a purely physical phenomenon or does it transcend the material world? In this fascinating book, Alwyn Scott offers a new perspective-based exclusively on evidence from the natural sciences-in which materialism and dualism co-exist. The author, a distinguished pioneer of nonlinear dynamics, bases his argument on a hierarchical view of mental organization in which atoms give rise to molecules, neutrons form the brain, and individual consciousness leads to shared culture."Not only is the depth of his topics impressive, but the breadth is astonishing for such a concise book... Scott puts a cogent case against both vitalism and non-biological functionalism."-THE TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT