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Publisher's Summary

Psychologists study which cognitive operations underpin a given conscious perception. Neuroscientists track the neural correlates of consciousness in the brain, the organ of the mind. But why the brain and not, say, the liver? How can the brain, three pounds of highly excitable matter, a piece of furniture in the universe, subject to the same laws of physics as any other piece, give rise to subjective experience? Koch argues that what is needed to answer these questions is a quantitative theory that starts with experience and proceeds to the brain. In The Feeling of Life Itself, Koch outlines such a theory, based on integrated information.

Koch describes how the theory explains many facts about the neurology of consciousness and how it has been used to build a clinically useful consciousness meter. The theory predicts that many, and perhaps all, animals experience the sights and sounds of life; consciousness is much more widespread than conventionally assumed. Contrary to received wisdom, however, Koch argues that programmable computers will not have consciousness. Even a perfect software model of the brain is not conscious. Its simulation is fake consciousness. Consciousness is not a special type of computation - it is not a clever hack. Consciousness is about being.

©2019 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about The Feeling of Life Itself

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Constant references to illustrations

Constant references to illustrations and figures without providing a pdf. Why take the time to read the book and provide an audio copy and not provide a simple pdf? This book constantly references visual depictions throughout the book. Very disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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Koch Fails Completely

This sloppy reckless galavanting through such important issues is a crying shame. Total waste of time this book; I recommend both not reading it and encouraging others to avoid it as well. Koch has no clue what consciousness is, or how it relates to the feeling of life.

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Where is the accompanying PDF!?

The book has several references to charts and visual references and yet it does not come with the accompanying reference material. Great book but the experience is made mediocre without the visual reference.