Nicholas Humphrey releases 20th Anniv. edition of A History of the Mind through BookBaby

It’s a joy to be releasing the 20th anniversary edition of Nicholas Humphrey’s A History of the Mind through BookBaby.  I had the great pleasure of writing the forward for the book and interviewing him at the London Book Fair this year.

Nick says that the book was the result of years of research and theorizing of what it’s like to be conscious, to live in what he calls “the present tense of sensation.”  AHOTM was written to be complementary to Daniel Dennett’s seminal work Consciousness Explained.  Whereas Daniel Dennett’s book discusses the mind as decision-maker, an apparatus for creating future, and a “cerebral office,” Nick emphasized the human self, and how it takes delight in the feeling of being alive.  Humphrey’s take is that we are active participants in sensation: rather than there being anything in the world inherently red, salty, or painful, our experiences are created by us and projected out into the world.  In this way, we are participants in our own experience and light the world up with our own consciousness.

Here’s his video introduction to the book:

It’s available on Amazon, Apple, B&N –

– and dozens of other retailers.  Get it!


One Reply to “Nicholas Humphrey releases 20th Anniv. edition of A History of the Mind through BookBaby”

  1. Hi Kevin,Just saw this – thanks for the link!I never exepct to make any headway with Bill V. — philosophy of mind is an enormously technical academic field — but I do enjoy “crossing hands” with him now and then.His main point is a “parity of reasoning” argument; he maintains that since only physical things have physical properties, then only mental things can have mental properties. I see this as simply an appeal to intuition, and don’t see why it isn’t equally plausible that physical things can have mental properties. That certainly seems to be what neuroscience is telling us, after all.Another issue I’ve been haranguing him about for years, and have never got a satisfactory answer from him on, is why we can’t pry apart essentially subjective phenomena — (i.e., conscious self-awareness and qualia) — from intentionality. I think there is all sorts of unconscious intentionality in the world.But to accept that you have to accept that the blind “design” process of evolution can build intentionality into the physical world. For a hard-core dualist like Bill, it is simply axiomatic that no purely physical system can be “about” anything at all. And that’s really the rub in this discussion as well.Oh well, I’m glad he puts up with me.

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