Home Introduction Introspection Psychophysics Mind-Body Problem Neural Correlates Psychosomatics Spirits Zombies Automaticity Free Will Implicit Cognition Emotion/Motivation Coma Anesthesia Sleep Dreams "Hysteria" Hypnosis Absorption Meditation Psychedelics Self-Consciousness Development Conclusion Lecture Illustrations Exam Information The Current Scene On the Internet Farthing Text


The Psychology of Consciousness

by William G. Farthing


Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 




Note:  Most books on consciousness focus almost exclusively on philosophical and neuroscientific analyses of the mind-body problem, and mostly ignore the vast amount of scientific research on such topics as unconscious mental life and altered states of consciousness.  

One exception -- I think the only exception, aside from the "handbooks" or "companions" to consciousness that have recently begun to emerge from various publishers -- is W.G. Farthing's The Psychology of Consciousness (Prentice-Hall, 1992).  

Although a somewhat outdated by its publication date, and out of print as well, it remains the single best introduction to the scientific literature on consciousness: It's the place to start if you want to understand the current scene.  I've provided links to the book's chapters below, but I strongly urge anyone who's interested in consciousness to purchase their own copy on the used-book market.


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Front Matter

Table of Contents


1.  The Concept of Consciousness

2.  Characteristics of Consciousness

3.  Introspection I: Methods and Limitations

4.  The Mind-Body Problem

5.  Brain and Consciousness I: Split-Brain Research

6.  Brain and Consciousness II: Dissociations Between Consciousness and Behavior

7.  Introspection II: Access to the Causes of Behavior

8.  Daydreaming and the Stream of Consciousness

9.  Altered States of Consciousness

10.  Sleep

11.  Dreaming I: Phenomenology and Influences on Contents

12.  Dreaming II: Theories and Research

13.  Dreaming III: Dream Recall and Lucid Dreaming

14.  Hypnosis I: Basic Phenomena, Hypnotic Susceptibility, and Applications

15.  Hypnosis II: Theories and Research on Hypnotic Analgesia and Posthypnotic Amnesia

16.  Hypnosis III: Hypnotic Age Regression and Hypermnesia

17.  Meditation

18.  Psychedelic Drugs I: Marijuana

19.  Psychedelic Drugs II: The Major Hallucinogens



Name Index

Subject Index