The third edition of the beast of a textbook that is Consciousness: An Introduction came out in April 2018.
View a preview on Google Books.
Buy it from the Routledge website, with a 20% discount flyer.
Buy it from amazon.co.uk or amazon.com (Kindle edition only).
Find out more on the companion website.
Download a PDF of the front matter and introduction.
The first and second editions were my mother Sue Blackmore‘s creations (back in 2003 and 2010), and she couldn’t quite face the task of updating it again alone (I have no idea how she ever dared create it alone in the first place). One afternoon in Oxford in the summer of 2014, we seemed simultaneously to arrive at the idea that the two of us might collaborate on the third edition, and just shy of four years later, it finally materialised.
Sadly there’s currently no American edition, though we hope that might change. OUP New York controls the rights for North and South America and has declined to publish the third edition there, claiming there’s insufficient interest in the topic of consciousness! If you’re an instructor in North or South America and would like to use the third edition in your teaching, I’d be grateful if you could send me a message saying so. Sue’s agent is currently preparing a case to present to the publisher, and hearing from you would help strengthen it. We’re really sad and frustrated that students and instructors can’t access the up-to-date version.
Here’s a video of Sue and me talking to Adam Hart-Davis (her husband, my stepfather!) on how the third edition came about:
The companion website includes lots more videos Sue and I made about the writing of the book and how to use it, and many suggestions for further reading, watching, and listening.
And the table of contents gives a sense of the vast scope of what’s covered in the book itself:
Section One | The problem
1. What’s the problem?
2. What is it like to be…?
3. The grand illusion
Section Two | The brain
4. Neuroscience and the correlates of consciousness
5. The theatre of the mind
6. The unity of consciousness
Section Three | Body and world
8. Conscious and unconscious
9. Agency and free will
Section Four | Evolution
10. Evolution and animal minds
11. The function of consciousness
12. The evolution of machines
Section Five | Borderlands
13. Altered states of consciousness
14. Reality and imagination
15. Dreaming and beyond
Section Six | Self and other
16. Egos, bundles, and theories of self
17. The view from within?
18. Waking up