Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind

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HarperCollins, Jun 4, 2019 - Science - 144 pages


"If you’ve ever wondered how you have the capacity to wonder, some fascinating insights await you in these pages.” --Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals

As concise and enlightening as Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, this mind-expanding dive into the mystery of consciousness is an illuminating meditation on the self, free will, and felt experience.

What is consciousness? How does it arise? And why does it exist? We take our experience of being in the world for granted. But the very existence of consciousness raises profound questions: Why would any collection of matter in the universe be conscious? How are we able to think about this? And why should we?

In this wonderfully accessible book, Annaka Harris guides us through the evolving definitions, philosophies, and scientific findings that probe our limited understanding of consciousness. Where does it reside, and what gives rise to it? Could it be an illusion, or a universal property of all matter? As we try to understand consciousness, we must grapple with how to define it and, in the age of artificial intelligence, who or what might possess it. 

Conscious offers lively and challenging arguments that alter our ideas about consciousness—allowing us to think freely about it for ourselves, if indeed we can.


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Lights on: Exploring the Mystery of Consciousness

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Harris (I Wonder), a consultant and editor for books about neuroscience and physics, probes the limits of the current scientific and philosophical understanding of consciousness, exploring the ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

The book takes an interesting journey through the different landmark findings in neuroscience and philosophy and paints a beautiful and easy to understand picture of what is usually a muddy and difficult to communicate topic. Must read for anyone who is interested in the philosophy of mind!


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About the author (2019)

Annaka Harris is the author of CONSCIOUS: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind. She is an editor and consultant for science writers, specializing in neuroscience and physics, whose work has appeared in the New York Times. Annaka is the author of the children's book I Wonder, a collaborator on the Mindful Games Activity Cards by Susan Kaiser Greenland, and a volunteer mindfulness teacher for the Inner Kids organization. She lives with her husband, the neuroscientist, author, and podcaster Sam Harris, and their two children.

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