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The Crucible of Consciousness: An Integrated Theory of Mind and Brain

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There are lots of books on consciousness being published these days, and I end up skimming most of them and reading a few of them. Reading somebody else’s take on the whole set of issues is often frustrating and depressing: they just don’t get it. Other times it is tantalizing; they start on the right foot, in other words, where I start! and they get lots of it, and clear up some of the fog and even shine some light on part of the terra incognita, but then wander off into some unlikely and unconvincing blind alleys. Rarely, something much better happens: I encounter somebody who starts in quite a different place, with a different agenda and different presuppositions, but who eventually arrives in my own neighborhood having blazed some new trails. Zoltan Torey is such a pathfinder. And surprisingly, the disagreements I still have with some of his ways of putting things, and even with some of his main verdicts, don’t disturb me at all. On the contrary, I find it powerfully reassuring that two such different perspectives can home in on so much common ground. Like everybody else who works on the perplexing problems of the mind and consciousness, I have always had a sense that my own vision, while fundamentally correct, of course could be improved upon, and Torey’s book contains quite a few suggestions worth further reflection and research.
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