A Place For Consciousness
Probing the Deep Structure of the Natural World

Gregg Rosenberg

Oxford University Press published "A Place for Consciousness: Probing the deep structure of the natural world." in November 2004. It is available through Amazon.

The book is the culmination of a project spanning more than a decade. It presents a synoptic metaphysics for the natural world that places mind within it in a comfortable and beautiful way. You can find a short and simple visual executive summary of the book's central themes and ideas here. The key arguments and advances in the book are,

Though the book is not an easy read for non-specialists, it is manageable for the motivated reader and repays the investment. Its intended audience is any philosophically-minded person who is interested in fresh approaches to the philosophical questions surrounding consciousness and causation. In writing it I drew heavily on my own interdisciplinary background. I hope readers who similarily have strong interdisciplinary backgrounds or interests will gain from it. To see if it might be for you, read the preface or take a look at the Table of Contents.

If you are interested in a still deeper dive, here is chapter 1.

There is also this short paper presenting the book's central argument and framework. It is a write-up of a well received plenary talk I gave at Towards a Science of Consciousness in Tucson in 1998. The book contains within it a "short tour" that details the central ideas and directions. The compiled short tour is here . The five individual chapters making up the short tour are broken out below, I have given a few other talks at the Tucson conferences over the years, and the presentations that went along with those talks are below. Also, in the book I mention in two places that I favor a view of representational content on which content is fixed by the guidance that a representational token gives to action, so that the intentionality of the mind is derived from a more basic bodily intentionality that finds expression through action and interaction. With Michael Anderson of the University of Maryland I have written a paper explaining some of the view, though it is a small part of a bigger picture. That paper is here.

I owe a huge debt of thanks to the Fetzer Foundation, administered by the University of Arizona, for fellowship support in 1998-1999 that allowed me to write the first draft of A Place for Consciousness.

An historical curiousity: The book is a distant, distant descendant of the term paper here written by a young boy I used to be. As an intellectual artifact, the paper is a bit embarassing but is notable for having been unashamedly more thrilled at the prospect of discovery than it was daunted by its demands. That's the one thing the young boy's paper shares most in common with the book.

As always, feedback is welcome.