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    Description

    From a leading philosopher of the mind comes this lucid, provocative argument that offers a radically new picture of human consciousness - panpsychism

    Understanding how brains produce consciousness is one of the great scientific challenges of our age. Some philosophers argue that consciousness is something "extra", beyond the physical workings of the brain. Others think that if we persist in our standard scientific methods, our questions about consciousness will eventually be answered. And some suggest that the mystery is so deep, it will never be solved.

    In Galileo's Error, Philip Goff offers an exciting alternative that could pave the way forward. Rooted in an analysis of the philosophical underpinnings of modern science and based on the early 20th-century work of Arthur Eddington and Bertrand Russell, Goff makes the case for panpsychism, a theory which posits that consciousness is not confined to biological entities but is a fundamental feature of all physical matter - from subatomic particles to the human brain. Here is the first step on a new path to the final theory of human consciousness.

    Cover image: Gold Beam Collision Recorded at STAR. Copyright Brookhaven National Laboratory (Creative Commons). Full image available at Flickr.com.

    ©2019 Philip Goff (P)2019 Random House Audio

    Commentaires

    “In Galileo’s Error, Philip Goff argues for a new approach to the scientific study of consciousness. He offers an accessible and compelling analysis of why our felt experience continues to elude scientific explanation and why the theories that describe consciousness as a fundamental feature of matter have been neglected - and why they now deserve serious consideration. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of consciousness studies.” (Annaka Harris, best-selling author of Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind)

    “This is one of the clearest accounts I've ever read about the mystery of consciousness, and the way in which one theory about it, panpsychism, does a great deal to explain how it occurs and what it is. Why shouldn't consciousness be a normal property of matter, like mass or electrical charge? This idea has the glorious simplicity of our first realization that the earth goes around the sun, and not vice versa. Suddenly, the universe appears in a new and much more revealing perspective. Philip Goff's book is altogether a splendid introduction to this fascinating idea.” (Philip Pullman, author of the “His Dark Materials” series) 

    “Philip Goff’s new book, Galileo’s Error, introduces the public to a revolutionary approach to one of the most stubborn of mysteries: How does the brain, with its chemical and electrical processes, give rise to a mind, whose thoughts, emotions, colors and tones we apprehend directly?  In this provocative, brave, and clearly written book, Goff makes a compelling case for an initially absurd thesis: that the colors we perceive are instances of universal qualities hidden within all material processes.” (Lee Smolin, author of Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution and founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics)

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    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      3 out of 5 stars
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    • ginger
    • 23/01/2020

    Good but basic

    The book is well-written and builds an excellent arena for competing belief systems. He lays out relevant historical anchor points where world view has changed in the last millennium and articulated that much of our culture’s current popular philosophical position has no more proof than angels and magic beans. He doesn’t say magic beans but he does talk about why angels should not be factored into an evidence-based view of reality than should the idea that matter is dead and mechanistic. The author concludes that pan-psychism shakes out as the most likely accurate explanation of reality but I felt he defended materialism with more substance even while he pointed out its flaws and tendency to use blind faith arguments while criticizing blind faith. I would have liked more discussion of modern pan-psychism because, in the end, I gained little to use in my debates with tribalistic, self-involved, dogmatic worshipers of science as a religion rather than a process for discovery. I will concede that it turned me onto some interesting further study about brain surgery and plant problem solving. I just think he had room to go do much further. It’s a great book if you’re new to the concept of bridging quantum physics and Newtonian physics with consciousness as a principle ingredient. It just feels unfinished.

    7 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Demetrius Walker
    • 23/11/2019

    Pan-Psychism Explained

    Goff makes a great case for the marriage of physics with philosophy. Finding the words, science, and data to explain consciousness have been elusive since the beginning of time. Finally a good explanation for not just how, but why consciousness pervades the universe.

    5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Carmelo San Paolo
    • 21/04/2021

    Really enjoyed it!

    Great book and the narrator is fantastic! I also learned a lot about philosophy in general as the author draws heavily on the thinking of scientists and philosophers going all the way back to Aristotle.

    Even tho the book is my read by the author the narrator is a pleasure to listen to.

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Mike
    • 19/02/2021

    A Great But One-Sided Conversation

    Here, Goff explores panpsychism and contrasts it with two other prominent theories of consciousness, dualism and materialism. Panpsychism, like dualism but unlike materialism, takes consciousness as fundamental in the universe. Unlike dualism (which operates outside of physics via "psychophysical laws"), Goff considers panpsychism to operate wholly within the bounds of physics. However, to do this (and this is unique to panpsychism), one must consider the "data point" of consciousness as proof of the "qualitative", "internal natures" of "matter". Internal Natures are given their own "technical appendix" in this book.

    The use of quotation marks above is not meant to be derisive (except maybe when referencing the technical appendix). It means that Goff's choice of words here are highly consequential. For example, how seriously will you, dear reader, take the "data point" of subjective consciousness? Is "qualitative" analysis really something science currently ignores, a science which has elucidated for us non-quantitative structures such as the biological cell, without needing to reference "internal natures"? And of "matter" - what of the non-massy, non-complex-structure forming photons and radiation of the world? Does this too have an internal nature? If so, why insist on using the words "matter" and "mass" throughout? And if not, what happens to the internal consciousness of a mass when it is converted to non-massy energy?

    At times, Goff's focus is too narrow and he does set up and knock down a few strawmen in place of their broader populations - identity theory in lieu of physicalism when discussing zombies, causal structuralism instead of broader conceptions of physics when discussing internal natures, quantitative physical models without considering the more qualitative operands of scientific thinking. But this seems more a constraint of book length than philosophical laziness. In the end, this is one of those books I wish could be more like a live conversation with the author. Read this book. Enjoy the philosophy. And begin your panpsychist conversations here.

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Austin
    • 13/01/2021

    Uncommonly honest.

    Required reading for the Consciousness-obsessed. You'll appreciate this title if you're a fan of Iain McGilchrist or Douglas Hofstadter.

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      3 out of 5 stars
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    • AOK
    • 09/12/2020

    Well thought out, but at the end something doesn’t fully click

    The book is well thought out. It provides a good overview of different approaches to consciousness. That said, while the author does not explicitly claim that it is the sole answer, the book seems to lean heavily in the direction of pan-psychism.

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Christina
    • 09/10/2020

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Finally a name to put to my feelings and views of the world. Fun and engaging listen.

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
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      2 out of 5 stars
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      2 out of 5 stars
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    • David
    • 04/09/2020

    Doesn't seem to make a difference.

    "Consciousness", which is poorly defined to begin with, doesn't seem to make much of a difference in our lives if panpsychism is true. I disagree with basically the whole final chapter. "Meaning" involves emotion (so does morality). What gives something significance is that you care about it, not that there's "consciousness". If consciousness can be separated from emotion, then mere consciousness doesn't make anything significant or deserving of moral consideration. This book reminded me that the main use of philosophy, for me, is to help me look at the strength of arguments, imagine other ways of thinking and see how little we actually know about things.

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Utilisateur anonyme
    • 28/04/2020

    Amazing

    Unique and thorough explanation of panpsychism and consciousness’ role in reality. Or better yet: an exploration of the nuances and research that make the consciousness ‘problem’ the most interesting and pertinent question to answer in our time... reading this book could save the world.

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Kindle Customer
    • 02/02/2020

    Connects consciousness with reality and to an ultimate meaning of life.

    Inspired philosophical analysis of logical basis for consciousness. Leads reader through complex arguments looking for affirmations and contractions.
    He then uses his conclusions to give meaning and understanding to spiritual ideas that will enhance our view of our place in the universe.