Brain, Mind and Consciousness in the History of Neuroscience

  • C.U.M. Smith
  • Harry Whitaker

Part of the History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences book series (HPTL, volume 6)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. C. U. M. Smith
    Pages 1-19
  3. J. J. MacIntosh
    Pages 59-73
  4. Gabriel Finkelstein
    Pages 163-184
  5. Stephanie L. Hawkins
    Pages 185-206
  6. Kristopher G. Phillips, Alan Beretta, Harry A. Whitaker
    Pages 355-369

About this book


This volume of essays examines the problem of mind, looking at how the problem has appeared to neuroscientists (in the widest sense) from classical antiquity through to contemporary times. Beginning with a look at ventricular neuropsychology in antiquity, this book goes on to look at Spinozan ideas on the links between mind and body, Thomas Willis and the foundation of Neurology, Hooke’s mechanical model of the mind and Joseph Priestley’s approach to the mind-body problem.

The volume offers a chapter on the 19th century Ottoman perspective on western thinking. Further chapters trace the work of nineteenth century scholars including George Henry Lewes, Herbert Spencer and Emil du Bois-Reymond. The book covers significant work from the twentieth century, including an examination of Alfred North Whitehead and the history of consciousness, and particular attention is given to the development of quantum consciousness. Chapters on slavery and the self and the development of an understanding of Dualism bring this examination up to date on the latest 21st century work in the field.

At the heart of this book is the matter of how we define the problem of consciousness itself: has there been any progress in our understanding of the working of mind and brain? This work at the interface between science and the humanities will appeal to experts from across many fields who wish to develop their understanding of the problem of consciousness, including scholars of Neuroscience, Behavioural Science and the History of Science.


18th century perspective on the mind-body problem Bois-Reymond’s reflections on consciousness Brain, Mind and the ‘hard problem’ Cognition, Vitalism, and the Evolution of Symbolic Perception Consciousness and neuronal microtubules Critique of ‘hard problem’ by Spyridon Mavrogenis Phenomenology of animal spirits in neurology Thomas Willis Problems of Consciousness in 19th century American neurology Problems of Consciousness in 19th century British neurology Quantum mechanics and consciousness Slavery and the Self in the Twenty-first century Spinozan Ideas in the History of Mind and Brain Sciences Understanding of Dualism Ventricular Neuropsychology Whitehead and the history of consciousness William James and consciousness ‘hard problem’ and Cartesian strand in British

Editors and affiliations

  • C.U.M. Smith
    • 1
  • Harry Whitaker
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Vision SciencesAston UniversityBirminghamUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNorthern Michigan UniversityMarquetteUSA

Bibliographic information