A big area of significant development in the 20th and 21st centuries has been the philosophy of mind. It's intimately tied with developments in neuroscience and psychology more generally. The question of consciousness—what it is, what constitutes the mind, and the extent to which it has any kind of existence separate from the material conditions of the body—has been a subject of enormous interest to philosophers down the centuries.
Philosopher Keith Frankish chooses his best books on the philosophy of mind and talks about the way that, although psychology had broken away from philosophy as a separate experimental discipline, there are still questions of a fundamental nature about the mind and consciousness that philosophers can still ask.
Psychologist Susan Blackmore chooses her best books on consciousness and explains how her interest in the subject was first fired by an out-of-body experience at university.
David Carmel, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, chooses his best books (and one movie) on consciousness for beginners.
Nearly every human has a sense of self, a feeling that we are located in a body that’s looking out at the world and experiencing it over the course of a lifetime. Some people even think of it as a soul or other nonphysical reality that is yet somehow connected to the blood and bones that make up our bodies. How things seem, however, is quite often an unreliable guide to how things are, says neuroscientist Anil Seth. Here he recommends five key books that led him to his own understanding of consciousness, and explores why it is that what is likely an illusion can be so utterly convincing.
by Daniel Dennett
Principles of Psychology
by William James
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
by Julian Jaynes
The Mind's I: Fantasies And Reflections On Self & Soul
by Daniel Dennett & Douglas Hofstadter
Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life
by Peter Godfrey-Smith
The ‘hard problem’ of consciousness – of how the physical matter of the brain produces the psychological phenomenon of consciousness – has dogged psychologists and neuroscientists for decades. But what if we’ve been posing the question incorrectly all this time? The psychologist Susan Blackmore discusses five key texts that tackle this quicksilver concept.
Introducing Consciousness: A Graphic Guide
by David Papineau & Howard Selina
Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State
by Adam Owen et al
Selective Attention Test
by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons
Failure to Detect Mismatches Between Intention and Outcome in a Simple Decision Task
by Petter Johansson et al
Synecdoche, New York
by Charlie Kaufman
What is consciousness? Can we measure it? Cognitive neuroscientist David Carmel introduces some of the philosophical and scientific complexities of identifying what was formerly known as the ‘soul.’