Now in its fourth edition, this highly popular text is the definitive introduction to consciousness, exploring the key theories and evidence in consciousness studies ranging from neuroscience and psychology to quantum theories and philosophy.

Written by mother and daughter author team Susan Blackmore and Emily Troscianko, the book examines why the term ‘consciousness’ has no recognised definition. It also provides an opportunity to delve into personal intuitions about the self, mind, and consciousness. Featuring comprehensive coverage of all core topics in the field, the book explains why the problem of consciousness is so hard. Theories of attention and free will, altered states of consciousness, and the differences between conscious and unconscious are all explored. Written with students of psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy in mind, this edition has been thoroughly updated throughout, and includes expanded coverage of panpsychism, illusionism, predictive processing, adversarial collaboration, psychedelics, and AI.

Complete with key concept boxes, profiles of well-known thinkers, and questions and activities designed for both independent study and group work, Consciousness provides a complete introduction to this fascinating field, and is essential reading for students of psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience.

Ancillaries website for the 4th edition coming soon!

chapter |8 pages


part Section One|80 pages

The problem

chapter 10Chapter one|24 pages

What's the problem?

chapter Chapter Two|24 pages

What is it like to be …?

chapter Chapter Three|30 pages

The grand illusion

part Section Two|98 pages

The brain

chapter 90Chapter Four|30 pages

Neuroscience and the correlates of consciousness

chapter Chapter Five|29 pages

The theatre of the mind

chapter Chapter Six|37 pages

The unity of consciousness

part Section Three|110 pages

Mind and action

chapter 188Chapter Seven|33 pages


chapter Chapter Eight|39 pages

Conscious and unconscious

chapter Chapter Nine|36 pages

Agency and free will

part Section Four|116 pages


chapter 298Chapter Ten|34 pages

Evolution and animal minds

chapter Chapter Eleven|31 pages

The function of consciousness

chapter Chapter Twelve|49 pages

The evolution of machines

part Section Five|118 pages


chapter 414Chapter Thirteen|39 pages

Altered states of consciousness

chapter Chapter Fourteen|36 pages

Reality and imagination

chapter Chapter Fifteen|41 pages

Dreaming and beyond

part Section Six|94 pages

Self and other

chapter 532Chapter Sixteen|36 pages

Egos, bundles, and theories of self

chapter Chapter Seventeen|29 pages

The view from within?

chapter Chapter Eighteen|27 pages

Waking up