We’ve heard a lot in the past couple of years about the physical basis of consciousness from scientists such as Christof Koch. Now, here’s a book which sets out to balance the equation: Irreducible Mind:
Current mainstream opinion in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind holds that all aspects of human mind and consciousness are generated by physical processes occurring in brains. Views of this sort have dominated recent scholarly publication. The present volume, however, demonstrates–empirically–that this reductive materialism is not only incomplete but false. The authors systematically marshal evidence for a variety of psychological phenomena that are extremely difficult, and in some cases clearly impossible, to account for in conventional physicalist terms. Topics addressed include phenomena of extreme psychophysical influence, memory, psychological automatisms and secondary personality, near-death experiences and allied phenomena, genius-level creativity, and ‘mystical’ states of consciousness both spontaneous and drug-induced. The authors further show that these rogue phenomena are more readily accommodated by an alternative ‘transmission’ or ‘filter’ theory of mind/brain relations
One of the co-authors of the book is our good friend Michael Grosso (who writes a column in Sub Rosa). At 832 pages, it’s a comprehensive look at the subject. You can also find a Table of Contents as well as some capsule reviews at the website.