The Return of Consciousness: A New Science on Old Questions


"Consciousness is a scientific problem that is unlike any other. Our own consciousness, as Descartes noted, is the most indubitable feature of our existence. It is the most precious one, as well: consciousness is life itself, and for most people having their bodies kept alive in a vegetative state is no better than dying." – Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University. 
Consciousness is also a unique scientific problem in other ways. There is no general agreement about the definition of the subject of study. Opinions are divided about how - with which methods - it should be studied. And nobody can know for sure which answers could possibly be relevant. For many decades it was forgotten by science, buried underground by the regime of behaviourism and cognitive science, but now it has arisen again and has become a hot topic in circles working at the frontier of science.
In June 2015 the Ax:son Johnson Foundation gathered more than twenty of the foremost scholars in the diverse field of Consciousness Studies for a two-day discussion. It was a lively and enlivening meeting where the participants did their best to reach out to one another. The same positive atmosphere also impregnates this collection of essays, written in a personal voice by the speakers. One can sense their ambition to make their views understandable by non-experts. This is a remarkable collection of essays and a landmark publication in the history of Consciousness Science.