In Search of the Self: The Riddle of Personal Existence
In Search of the Self reviews research into the neurological basis of consciousness, the potential of copying one’s personality into a silicon chip or endowing an artificial entity with self-awareness, plus an examination of beliefs about the nature of the self and its destiny after death. More
In this expansive work, written for a general audience, former award-winning newspaper columnist Donald G. Oakley ventures a layman’s exploration of the burgeoning field known as “consciousness studies.”
Inspired initially by the imaginative scenarios of science fiction writers and the thought experiments of prominent philosophers, Oakley traces the evolution of our understanding of the human brain and the physical basis of the sense of “the self,” as revealed by both historical and current discoveries in the science of neurology.
From research into the neurological basis of consciousness, to the feasibility of copying one’s personality into a silicon chip or endowing an artificial entity with self-awareness, to the more and more refined methods of “reading” thought processes in the brain, to a critical examination of popular beliefs about the nature of the self and its ultimate destiny after the death of the body, In Search of the Self is flavored throughout with the author’s original thinking and commonsensical approach. Endnotes after each chapter not only provide documentation for references in the text but add information and comment that enliven the entire book.
For anyone who has ever “done philosophy” by pondering the age-old questions of the how and why of human existence (and that is just about everyone), In Search of the Self is highly rewarding reading.