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Conscious

A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind
Written by: Annaka Harris
Narrated by: Annaka Harris
Length: 2 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (59 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

As concise and enlightening as Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, this mind-expanding dive into the mystery of consciousness is an illuminating meditation on the self, free will, and felt experience.

What is consciousness? How does it arise? And why does it exist? We take our experience of being in the world for granted. But the very existence of consciousness raises profound questions: Why would any collection of matter in the universe be conscious? How are we able to think about this? And why should we? 

In this wonderfully accessible audiobook, Annaka Harris guides us through the evolving definitions, philosophies, and scientific findings that probe our limited understanding of consciousness. Where does it reside, and what gives rise to it? Could it be an illusion or a universal property of all matter? As we try to understand consciousness, we must grapple with how to define it and, in the age of artificial intelligence, who or what might possess it. 

Conscious offers lively and challenging arguments that alter our ideas about consciousness - allowing us to think freely about it for ourselves, if indeed we can.

©2019 Annaka Harris (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Fascinating!

great topic. I hope that she writes another as I would love to explore this in more depth.

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Diving into the mysteries of the mind

A great dive into the mystery that is conciousness. A clear and understandable explication and exploration of the ideas and theories around what conciousness really is and where it may lay.

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  • Thomas Horan
  • 2019-06-29

Good Introduction to the Hard Problem

If you are familiar with Sam Harris' work or with philosophy of mind, this book will seem fairly elementary. It basically summarizes some of the more basic mysteries surrounding consciousness and doesn't have much in the way of new ideas.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • RGO
  • 2019-06-10

This is a great spring board...

A huge fan and member of Sam Harris’ “Making Sense/Waking Up” podcast/website... so of course I was curious after their recent podcast together.

So that was my catalyst... I have not yet gone too deep into what is “conscious” for all the reasons plus my own anecdotal experiences.

As one who has just become a new convert as an “hopeful agnostic” I have stirred away from this subject on purpose... I am still going through the “grieving process” as I continue to progress through my faith/human development.

This was a fantastic, coherent— just what I needed to help me gain more insight... I want to now go deeper and start to ask questions I have shelved.

I highly recommend this quick, broad and very rational perspective!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew Buist
  • 2019-06-04

A great book

Equal measures accessible and important. You need this book. It's of such a high quality that it's hard not to resort to hyperbolic cliches when describing it. It's a wonderful synthesis of both the science and philosophy of consciousness, laid out in clear and concise language. It's seriously great.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-06-14

Fascinating!

A really great introduction to and overview of the subject of consciousness! Although I thought I knew already a lot about the subject, it gave me some new insights to ponder.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Allan
  • 2019-06-05

A great primer on consciousness

While not adding so much new to my burgeoning understanding of consciousness it presents a great summary of the leading thinking in the field and is a highly recommended listen.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Kaylee A.
  • 2019-08-25

Fascinating!

it is short, but invigorating! I find the subject incredibly fascinating & she did an amazing job!

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  • John tani III
  • 2019-08-24

Awesomeness

I would give this 5 stars if it was longer. Great material, good Insight, much "food" for thought.

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  • Dee Goulet
  • 2019-08-23

Easy Listening

This book was very easy to listen to. While the subject matter is complicated Annaka makes understanding less so by her honest straightforward assessments.
However, I will need to buy the book in order to continue my research into consciousness as there is a lot of references contained in this work that warrant reading for sure!
Thank you for this brief but extremely cogent treatment of consciousness.

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  • Philip Martin Sugg
  • 2019-08-17

Fascinating Subject

Annika Harris does an intriguing job reporting on and describing the various aspects of and cultural conceptions we have concerning the elusive concept of consciousness.
However, I was disappointed to find that she falls into the trap of stating certain hypotheses stated by well known scientists as unquestionable fact when they are just as likely to be hubris. Her fundamental theories, related to free will and the self, stated as ultimate truth are, in truth, still open to question.
These self-evident propositions (are they?) are the ideas on which science builds logical structures which, unfortunately, often take the leap of presenting themselves as gospel. As a result these so called 'facts' limit the vast implications of being we are only just beginning to gain an inkling of.
All that said, overall her book is interesting, thought provoking, and well worth listening to.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-08-15

Excellent

Thought provoking and fascinating. Annaka Harris has a pleasant voice for narration as well. Strongly recommend.