This book reviews some of the most important scientific and philosophical theories concerning the nature of mind and consciousness. Current theories on the mind-body problem and the neural correlates of consciousness are presented through a series of biographical sketches of the most influential thinkers across the fields of philosophy of mind, psychology and neuroscience. The book is divided into two parts: the first is dedicated to philosophers of mind and the second, to neuroscientists/experimental psychologists. Each part comprises twenty short chapters, with each chapter being dedicated to one author. A brief introduction is given on his or her life and most important works and influences. The most influential theory/ies developed by each author are then carefully explained and examined with the aim of scrutinizing the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches to the nature of consciousness.
Part 1. Philosophical Theories of Consciousness: David Chalmers.- Paul and Patricia Churchland.- Tim Crane.- Donald Davidson.- Daniel Dennett.- René Descartes.- Jerry Fodor.- Jaegwon Kim.- William Lycan.- Collin McGinn.- Thomas Nagel.- Alva Noë.- Hilary Putnam.- David Rosenthal.- John Searle.- Part 2. Scientific Theories of Consciousness: Bernard Baars.- Francis Crick and Christof Koch.- Antonio Damasio.- Stanislas Dehaene.- Merlin Donald.- John Eccles and Karl Popper.- Gerald Edelman.- Nicholas Humphrey.- Julian Jaynes.- Benjamin Libet.- John Kevin O'Regan.- Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff.- Giulio Tononi.- Max Velmans.- Semir Zeki.