Front cover image for On the nature of consciousness : cognitive, phenomenological, and transpersonal perspectives

On the nature of consciousness : cognitive, phenomenological, and transpersonal perspectives

This book pursues an inquiry into consciousness that ranges from ancient Greece to empirical neuropsychology to the experiential traditions of introspection and meditation. Harry Hunt begins by reviewing the renewed interest in ordinary consciousness and in altered and transpersonal states of consciousness. He then presents competing views of consciousness in cognition, neurophysiology, and animal psychology, developing a view of perceptual awareness as the core of consciousness potentially shared across species. Hunt next brings together the separate strands of neo-realist approaches to perception and thought, the phenomenology of imagery and synesthesia, and cognitive theories of metaphor. He develops an original cognitive theory of mystical experience that combines Buddhist meditative descriptions of consciousness and Heidegger's sense of Being. In relating both of these to James J. Gibson's views on perception, he avoids the various "new age" supernaturalisms that so often blight the transpersonal literature. Other themes include the relation between consciousness and time; the common perceptual-metaphoric rooting of parallels between consciousness and modern physics; and the communal basis of transpersonal states as reflected in a sociology of mysticism and a reinterpretation of parapsychological research
Print Book, English, ©1995
Yale University Press, New Haven, ©1995
xvi, 358 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
9780300062304, 0300062303
1. The Most Fundamental of Empirical Questions or the Most Misguided
What is Consciousness?
2. Cognition and Consciousness
3. Consciousness as Emergent: The Irrelevance of Specific Neurophysiology
4. Consciousness as Localized: Neural Zones of Convergence and Consciousness Awareness System(s)
5. Animal Consciousness: The Emergence of Primary Sentience in Protozoa and Self-Referential Consciousness in the Higher Primates
6. William James and the Stream of Consciousness: Metaphor Without, Mirror Within
7. Synesthesia: The Inner Face of Thought and Meaning
8. The Multiplicity of Image: Phenomenology and Some Limitations of Laboratory Research
9. Sensus Communis: A History of the Cross-Modal Theory of Mind
10. A Cognitive Psychology of Transpersonal States
11. Heidegger, Mahayana Buddhism, and Gibson's Ambient Array: A Logos of Sentience
12. Consciousness as Time
13. Consciousness as Space: Physics, Consciousness, and the Primacy of Perception
14. Consciousness as Society