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Susan Blackmore's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Susan Blackmore recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Susan Blackmore's favorite book recommendations of all time.


Although mammals and birds are widely regarded as the smartest creatures on earth, it has lately become clear that a very distant branch of the tree of life has also sprouted higher intelligence: the cephalopods, consisting of the squid, the cuttlefish, and above all the octopus. In captivity, octopuses have been known to identify individual human keepers, raid neighboring tanks for food, turn off lightbulbs by spouting jets of water, plug drains, and make daring escapes. How is it that a creature with such gifts evolved through an evolutionary lineage so radically distant from our own?...

Recommended by Susan Blackmore, and 1 others.

Susan BlackmoreAn enjoyable read that will make you think. (Source)

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The Mind’s I

Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul

Brilliant, shattering, mind-jolting, The Mind's I is a searching, probing cosmic journey of the mind that goes deeply into the problem of self and self-consciousness as anything written in our time. From verbalizing chimpanzees to scientific speculations involving machines with souls, from the mesmerizing, maze-like fiction of Borges to the tantalizing, dreamlike fiction of Lem and Princess Ineffable, her circuits glowing read and gold, The Mind's I opens the mind to the Black Box of fantasy, to the windfalls of reflection, to new dimensions of exciting possibilities.
Recommended by Susan Blackmore, and 1 others.

Susan BlackmoreI have no hesitation at all about this book because it’s got so many absolutely classic papers in it. (Source)

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Consciousness Explained

In Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett reveals the secrets of one of the last remaining mysteries of the universe: the human brain.

Daniel C. Dennett's now-classic book blends philosophy, psychology and neuroscience - with the aid of numerous examples and thought-experiments - to explore how consciousness has evolved, and how a modern understanding of the human mind is radically different from conventional explanations of consciousness.

What people think of as the stream of consciousness is not a single, unified sequence, the author argues, but...
Recommended by Susan Blackmore, Keith Frankish, and 2 others.

Susan BlackmorePeople go in two directions: they either love the way he writes, or they hate it. I love it, with all his mad examples and neologisms. (Source)

Keith FrankishThe book is packed with thought experiments, all designed to undermine the intuitive but misleading picture of the Cartesian Theatre. (Source)

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This is the first inexpensive edition of the complete Long Course in Principles of Psychology, one of the great classics of modern Western literature and science and the source of the ripest thoughts of America’s most important philosopher. As such, it should not be confused with the many abridgements that omit key sections.
The book presents lucid descriptions of human mental activity, with detailed considerations of the stream of thought, consciousness, time perception, memory, imagination, emotions, reason, abnormal phenomena, and similar topics. In its course it takes into...

Lisa Feldman BarrettA wonderful summary of what was known and what questions were being asked at the dawn of psychology as a science in the 19th century. (Source)

Susan BlackmoreOut of all the books I own, this is my absolute treasure. (Source)

Charles FernyhoughAn extraordinary work and compulsory reading for psychology students, even though the book is over a hundred years old. (Source)

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At the heart of this seminal book is Julian Jaynes's still-controversial thesis that consciousness didn't begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only 3000 years ago & is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually all aspects of psychology, history & religion.
The mind of man
The consciousness of consciousness
The mind of Iliad
The bicameral mind
The double brain
The origin of civilization --

Susan BlackmoreJaynes thinks we only started talking and thinking about consciousness and the problem of consciousness within historical times. (Source)

Adam Robinson[One of five books (this one perhaps most of all) that confirm] there is far, far more in our unconscious mind than is dreamt of in our philosophy. (Source)

Adam Robinson[One of five books (this one perhaps most of all) that confirm] there is far, far more in our unconscious mind than is dreamt of in our philosophy. (Source)

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