Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Consciousness, 'the last great mystery for science', has now become a hot topic.

How can a physical brain create our experience of the world?

What creates our identity? Do we really have free will? Could consciousness itself be an illusion? Exciting new developments in brain science are opening up debates on these issues, and the field has now expanded to include biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers.

This controversial book clarifies the potentially confusing arguments, and the major theories using illustrations, lively cartoons, and experiments.Topics include vision and attention, theories of self and will, experiments on action and awareness, altered states of consciousness, and the effects of brain damage and drugs.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area.

These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.

Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160 pages, 3 halftones, 3 line drawings and numerous illustrations
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: States of consciousness
  • ISBN: 9780192805850



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

I've reread this very short book several times. It's well written, very clear, and gets to the heart of the big questions about consciousness in a very concise manner. If you want to start reading about the subject, this really is a great place to do so.I'm pretty sympathetic to Blackmore's philosophical outlook, so I may find this more appealing than non-materialists might.

Review by

A fine, and very short, introduction to theory of consciousness. The brevity of the book means that sometimes connections are not perfectly clear, but for that there are more detailed texts available (which are listed in an annotated bibliography).

Review by

It is difficult, as a philosopher, to review the work of another philosopher without taking issue with conclusions with which one disagrees. However, it is easy to recognize a work that strives to be fair to all perspectives, providing both positive and negative assessments of the various explanations for the concept of "consciousness." This much <B>Blackmore</B> does very well, although she does overlook some very important theories of that to which the "I" refers (but then, this is supposed to be a <I>very short</I> introduction, so some omissions are inevitable).<B>Blackmore</B> ultimately turns to the "eliminative materialist" position, according to which self-consciousness is a self-deception, and ought to be dismissed as such. This may not be very satisfactory to many, but she does give a discussion overall that is adequate to show why some philosophers have become eliminativist, if only out of frustration.A nice, concise, introduction to a very deep issue. (I read the Kindle version of this book.)