Perplexities of Consciousness by Eric Schwitzgebel
(Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology)

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Synopsis

Do you dream in color? If you answer Yes, how can you be sure? Before you recount your vivid memory of a dream featuring all the colors of the rainbow, consider that in the 1950s researchers found that most people reported dreaming in black and white. In the 1960s, when most movies were in color and more people had color television sets, the vast majority of reported dreams contained color. The most likely explanation for this, according to the philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel, is not that exposure to black-and-white media made people misremember their dreams. It is that we simply don't know whether or not we dream in color. In <I>Perplexities of Consciousness</I>, Schwitzgebel examines various aspects of inner life (dreams, mental imagery, emotions, and other subjective phenomena) and argues that we know very little about our stream of conscious experience.Drawing broadly from historical and recent philosophy and psychology to examine such topics as visual perspective, and the unreliability of introspection, Schwitzgebel finds us singularly inept in our judgments about conscious experience.
 

About Eric Schwitzgebel

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Eric Schwitzgebel, Professor of Philosophy at the Universityof California, Riverside, is the coauthor (with Russell T. Hurlburt) of DescribingInner Experience? Proponent Meets Skeptic (MIT Press, 2007).
 
Published January 28, 2011 by A Bradford Book. 238 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Perplexities of Consciousness

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We are asked to say “what it’s like” — to dream, to imagine, to feel — as if there ought to be a simple answer: colored or not, single or double, in the head or in the heart.

Jul 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Perplexities of Consciousness...

Examiner

Synopsis: Eric Schwitzgebel’s work is an organized ‘stream-of-consciousness’ critique of the uncertainty of the human consciousness.

Sep 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Perplexities of Consciousness...

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