"A journey through the vast and complicated seas of the human mind."
How satisfactory and how complete is our understanding of the workings of the mind? What are the secrets of the mind? How many are there? And of what kind?
Writing in a delightfully conversational style, noted Glasgow chemist and author A.G. Cairns-Smith discusses fundamental questions about 'mind and matter' which science is struggling to understand. The fascinating journey leads us to confront the "Great Enigma"-the nature of consciousness itself, and ultimately the question of free will.
Witty, provocative and highly accessible, Cairns-Smith discusses the central concerns of brain science, including:
- moods, feelings, sensations and emotions and their connection to the physical world.
- how is information from the outside world converted into electrochemical signals within cells?
- the origin and evolution of sensations and feelings.
- the incompleteness of our scientific understanding of the mind in terms of physics, chemistry and quantum theory.
Secrets of the Mind is not only a splendid informal introduction for the general reader to the central questions of brain science, but a contribution to answering some of them. In the author's view, our feelings and sensations-what philosophers call qualia-are not simply alternative descriptions of neural events but have themselves evolved and have physical effects in the brain as well as physical causes. By looking at qualia in this way, and by recognizing that underlying the personal experience of feelings is quantum energy, the author contends, we may develop a more unified, scientific view of the mind.
"Mind and matter are both strange, but they belong to the same world."