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.

Hard Problems: Legacy of Ancient Times

Hard problems: Legacy of ancient times

In this chapter, four scholars (including the author) have given their opinions on and solutions to the following hard problems about consciousness:

  • Is there a self?
  • Does consciousness exist outside the body?
  • Do we have free will?
  • Can we separate emotion from reasoning?

Hard Problems: Thoughts and Answers from the Author (J.P. Das)

In the opinion of the author, based on readings and reflection, the following questions and answers are presented for discussion.

Is There a Self?

Distinctly, the concept of self is not only an intellectual concept, but a feeling. The feeling of ego, of an entity, an identity, of an individual who perceives, memorizes, thinks, feels, gets depressed, even becomes confused, and a schizophrenic. The word ...

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