The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self

The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self

by Thomas Metzinger

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Overview

Examine the inner workings of the mind and learn what consciousness and a sense of self really means - and if it even exists.
We're used to thinking about the self as an independent entity, something that we either have or are. In The Ego Tunnel, philosopher Thomas Metzinger claims otherwise: No such thing as a self exists. The conscious self is the content of a model created by our brain-an internal image, but one we cannot experience as an image. Everything we experience is "a virtual self in a virtual reality."But if the self is not "real," why and how did it evolve? How does the brain construct it? Do we still have souls, free will, personal autonomy, or moral accountability? In a time when the science of cognition is becoming as controversial as evolution, The Ego Tunnel provides a stunningly original take on the mystery of the mind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786744428
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 03/17/2009
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 828,743
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Thomas Metzinger directs the Theoretical Philosophy Group at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and is an Adjunct Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Study. He is the former president of the German Cognitive Science Society and one of the founders of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. He has written and edited several books, among them Being No One; Conscious Experience; and Neural Correlates of Consciousness. He lives in Germany.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Part 1 The Consciousness Problem

1 The Appearance of a World 15

2 A Tour of the Tunnel 25

The Unity of Consciousness 66

Part 2 Ideas and Discoveries

3 Out of the Body and into the Mind: Body Image, Out-of-Body Experiences, and the Virtual Self 75

4 From Ownership to Agency to Free Will 115

5 Philosophical Psychonautics: What can we Learn from Lucid Dreaming? 133

Dreaming 149

6 The Empathic Ego 163

The Shared Manifold 174

Part 3 The Consciousness Revolution

7 Artificial Ego Machines 187

8 Consciousness Technologies and the Image of Humankind 207

9 A New Kind of Ethics 219

Notes 241

Index 261

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