Max Velmans' *Understanding Consciousness* [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (10):96-99 (2000)
This is a fine book. In what has become a crowded field, it stands out as direct, deep, and daring. It should place Max Velmans amongst the stars in the field like Chalmers, Dennett, Searle, and Churchland who are most commonly referenced in consciousness studies books and articles. It is direct in that the de rigueur history and review of the body-mind problem is illuminating and concise. It is deep in that Velmans deconstructs the usual idea of an objective world as distinct from our experienced world. It is daring in that in his last chapter he comes out on the side of consciousness co-evolving with the universe rather than arising at some point within it (though he insists that such speculation is beyond the more empirical intent of his earlier chapters).
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