Understanding Consciousness: Its Function and Brain Processes

Sage Publications (2000)
“This is surely the ultimate expression of the top-down approach to consciousness, written with Sommerhoff's characteristic clarity and precision. It says far more than other books four times the size of this admirably concise volume. This book is destined to become a pillar of the subject.” —Rodney Cotterill, Technical University of Denmark The problem of consciousness has been described as a mystery about which we are still in a terrible muddle and in Understanding Consciousness: Its Function and Brain Processes, the author attempts to unravel this mystery by offering a clarification of the main concepts related to consciousness, and positing a comprehensive biological explanation. Consequently, this book will be ideal for a wide-range of upper level undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The author interprets consciousness as a property that can be possessed by many creatures lacking a language faculty and comprises all of the following: awareness of the surrounding world; awareness of the self as an entity; and awareness of such things as thoughts and feelings. He argues that a biological approach can achieve both the necessary conceptual clarifications and a joint explanation of these divisions of awareness in terms of just two accurately defined concepts of 'internal representation' and two empirically supported assumptions about the functional architecture of a specific set of brain processes. Despite this striking simplicity, his model covers these divisions of awareness both as objective faculties of the brain and as subjective experience. These conclusions are applied to a broad range of fundamental questions, including the biological rationale of subjective experience and where consciousness resides in the neural networks.
Keywords Consciousness Physiological aspects  Neuropsychology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book $116.75 direct from Amazon (26% off)   $117.41 new (26% off)   $162.71 used    Amazon page
Call number BF311.S657 2000
ISBN(s) 0761967745
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,777
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

Added to index


Total downloads


Recent downloads (6 months)


How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums