Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Inner Light Theory of Consciousness By Steven W. Smith

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The human mind appears to us in two completely different ways. On one hand, science sees the mind as the operation of the brain, the electrochemical activity in a vast network of nerve cells. But on the other hand, we each see ourselves as a conscious being, capable of thinking, feeling, and experiencing the world around us. We see the redness of a rose, smell its fragrance, and appreciate its beauty. We contemplate the meaning of life, and freely decide how to think and act. These aspects of the mind seem to entail something beyond the physical world, something that is fundamentally different from the machine-like operation of the brain. 

But how can this be? How can the mind appear as one thing from the outside, but as an entirely different thing from the inside? This paradox has haunted scientists and philosophers since the beginning of man’s history. In groundbreaking work, "The Inner Light Theory of Consciousness" closes the gap, unifying science and our personal experience into a compelling explanation of what we really are.

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