The nature of human consciousness is a mystery that philosophers, artists, and scientists have struggled with for centuries. What is the basis for our awareness of ourselves and the universe around us ? Some believe consciousness to be a purely physical phenomenon ; others think it transcends the material world. In Stairway to the Mind, Alwyn Scott offers a new perspective-based exclusively on evidence from the natural sciences-in which materialism and dualism co-exist. The author, a distinguished pioneer of non linear dynamics, bases his argument on a hierarchical view of mental organization in which atoms give rise to molecules, neurons form the brain, and individual consciousness leads to shared culture. It is an organization Scott symbolizes with a stairway-all steps are needed to complete the structure, and each level emerges from the previous one. Stairway to the Mind also features Scott's evenhanded yet penetrating evaluation of the many conflicting concepts of brain and mind. Few topics have been the subject of such divergent theories, and readers will appreciate Scott's insight as he compares the work of writers as diverse as William James and Francis Crick. The book cuts across intellectual boundaries, incorporating particle physics, chemistry, cell biology, neuroscience, psychology, sociology, and mathematics. For readers with specific knowledge in those areas, the book shows what each field adds to an overall investigation of consciousness. For general readers, it is an introduction to bold new scientific methods of probing the mind.