Consciousness is an active area of both philosophical debates and scientific research. Consciousness Quest, rather than covering the broad spectrum of consciousness spread over multiple scientific disciplines, refocuses the quest for consciousness on a specific area where Eastern contemplative traditions, mostly in Hindu and Buddhist theories of mind, meet Western empirical research. This book is an introduction to current scientific thinking and research on consciousness and at the same time acquaints readers with the spectrum of classical and modern philosophical notions on consciousness.
Chapter One: Introduction
Major Issues and Contents: A Bird's Eye View
Although an overview of major issues and contents of consciousness may appear to be a daunting task, I could depend on a clearly written introductory text on consciousness to accomplish it. The book by Dietrich (2007), Introduction to Consciousness, fortunately exists to present the quest for consciousness in the West. I have utilized it for the introductory chapter of the present book. But I have integrated it with the Western views, and Eastern philosophical views of consciousness selected mostly from Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The result hopefully is a readable review chapter.
Major points covered in this introductory chapter are:
- Phenomenal consciousness is not observable; it is not amenable to scientific study. Only third-person data is admissible.
- Opposite point of ...