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Galileo's Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness

Philip Goff



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20 August 2019
From a leading philosopher of 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. Some even suggest that the mystery is so deep that it will never be solved. Decades have been spent in trying to explain consciousness from within our current scientific paradigm, but little progress has been made.

Now, 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. In Galileo's Error, he has taken the first step on a new path toward the final theory of human consciousness.

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By:   Philip Goff
Imprint:   Rider
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 135mm,  Spine: 19mm
Weight:   255g
ISBN:   9781846046018
ISBN 10:   1846046017
Pages:   192
Publication Date:   20 August 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Philip Goff is a graduate of Reading University and a professor of philosophy at the University of Durham. He has been published in the Guardian, Aeon and Philosophy Now, among other publications. www.philipgoffphilosophy.com

Reviews for Galileo's Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness

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 realisation 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. Goff's ideas are radical, but his arguments are rigorous and the book is a pleasure to read. I recommend it to anyone who wants to come to grips with mystery of consciousness. In this provocative, brave and clearly written book, Goff makes a compelling case for an initially absurd thesis. There's no better introduction to this fascinating subject * Stephen Law * Galileo's Error is a tour de force. Goff defends his distinctive view of consciousness with verve, wit and authority * David Papineau *

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