On the nature of consciousness : cognitive, phenomenological, and transpersonal perspectives

by Harry T. Hunt

Book, 1995



Call number


Call number



New Haven : Yale University Press, c1995.

Physical description

xvi, 358 p.; 25 cm

Local notes

This book pursues an inquiry into consciousness that ranges from ancient Greece to empirical neuropsychology to the experiential traditions of introspection and meditation.
Harry Hunt begins by reviewing the renewed interest in ordinary consciousness and in altered and transpersonal states of consciousness. He then presents competing views of consciousness in cognition, neurophysiology, and animal psychology, developing a view of perceptual awareness as the core of consciousness potentially shared across species. Hunt next brings together the separate strands of neo-realist approaches to perception and thought, the phenomenology of imagery and synesthesia, and cognitive theories of metaphor. He develops an original cognitive theory of mystical experience that combines Buddhist meditative descriptions of consciousness and Heidegger's sense of Being. In relating both of these to James J. Gibson's views on perception, he avoids the various "new age" supernaturalisms that so often blight the transpersonal literature. Other themes include the relation between consciousness and time; the common perceptual-metaphoric rooting of parallels between consciousness and modern physics; and the communal basis of transpersonal states as reflected in a sociology of mysticism and a reinterpretation of parapsychological research.
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