Conscious Experience: A Logical Inquiry
Harvard University Press
Rhyme and reason.
Now, while the title of Anil Gupta’s book might at first glance invoke the impression that it is one of those airy-fairy esoteric tomes, the opposite is the case. In a very concrete manner, the book sheds light on what constitutes what we perceive to be our consciousness, the way we employ it to experience the world and how concepts can be modelled to gain a deeper understanding dichotomies, empirical reasoning and dialectic.
There is an extent of theory that is laid out and needs to be absorbed and digested, yet it serves as fertile ground and foundation on which a new outlook on the world around oneself can be built, adjusted and, if need be, reconstructed.
The way things are exemplified, e.g. the perception of colours as being an actual representation of physicality versus the empirical that colours are in essence not qualities per se at all, is both accessible, engaging and relatable.
The alignment of seemingly contrary concepts and approaches is what makes Conscious Experience a worthwhile read as it adds dimension to how rationalism is conventionally not only depicted but practiced by many without ever calibrating their approach.
While the concepts that are dealt with seem highbrow at first, it becomes apparent that they are all inextricably linked to our day to day operations and one cannot help but take two steps back to evaluate one’s take on things after each chapter, specifically when it comes to the transparency of experience and perceptual judgments.
Books like Conscious Experience serve as a motivator and wake up call when you are about to fall prey to complacency and the notion that you have arrived.