مراجع وقراءات إضافية
The series of false awakenings is described by Yves Delage in his Le Rêve, Étude psychologique, philosophique, et littéraire, Paris, 1923. The idea of dreams-within-dreams is intelligently applied in Christopher Nolan’s 2010 film Inception featuring four (or five?) stacked levels of dreams.
You can calculate your own risk of death using Carnegie Mellon’s death calculator at www.deathriskrankings.com.
The story of Muhammad’s pitcher is referred to in part 2, chapter 5 of Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. More information on testing the duration of dream time can be found in Stephen LaBerge, ‘Lucid Dreaming: Evidence and Methodology’, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23(6) (2000): 962-3. The same author’s Lucid Dreaming (Ballantine, 1985) is a more popular treatment of various aspects of lucid dreaming.
How to keep the brains of guinea-pigs alive in a jar is described in M. Mühlethaler, M. de Curtis, K. Walton, and R. Llinás, ‘The Isolated and Perfused Brain of the Guinea-Pig in Vitro’, European Journal of Neuroscience, 5(7) (2006): 915–26.
For information on brain-computer interfaces, see Steven Kotler, ‘Vision Quest’, Wired Magazine, September 2002, pp. 94–101, and Miguel Nicolelis and John Chapin, ‘Controlling Robots with the Mind’, Scientific American, 287(4) (October 2002): 46–53.
Some discussion of the computational power of the human brain is in Nick Bostrom’s ‘How Long Before Superintelligence?’, Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, 5(1) (2006): 11–30. An updated version can be found at http://www.nickbostrom.com/superintelligence.html.
The miraculous portrait of Dean Liddell (as well as a variety of similarly spontaneously appearing portraits) is described in chapter 18 of Charles Fort’s Wild Talents (Claude Kendall, 1932).
The main argument against the possibility of us being artificially stimulated brains goes back to Hilary Putnam’s discussion in Reason, Truth, and History (Cambridge University Press, 1981). Since then, a vast amount of philosophical literature dealing with this argument has been written. A good first point of entry is David Chalmers’s paper ‘The Matrix as Metaphysics’ at http://consc.net/papers/matrix.html.
For Jorge Luis Borges’s story ‘The Circular Ruins’, see his Collected Fictions (Penguin, 1999), pp. 96–100.
For a quirky brief statement of anti-solipsism, see Robert Nozick’s ‘Fiction’, chapter 19 of his Socratic Puzzles (Harvard University Press, 1997), pp. 313–16.
An accessible introduction to cellular automata is William Poundstone’s The Recursive Universe (William Morrow, 1984). For a popular survey of the use of simulations in science more generally, see John L. Casti, Would-Be Worlds: How Simulation Is Changing the Frontiers of Science (Wiley, 1997).
For a discussion of whether we are living in a historical simulation, see Nick Bostrom, ‘Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?’, Philosophical Quarterly, 53(211) (2003): 243–55. The author also runs a website at http://www.simulation-argument.com where this paper, as well as a variety of synopses and responses are available.
The computer scientist Robert Bradbury argues that we will be able to build a Matrioshka brain, a planet-sized supercomputer that can carry out up to 1042 computational operations per second within the next century. (More information on Matrioshka brains is at http://www.aeiveos.com/~bradbury/MatrioshkaBrains.) Bostrom (247) argues that we need considerably fewer, namely a maximum of 1036 operations, to run historical simulations. The Astronomer Royal Martin Rees claims that mankind has a 50% chance of not being destroyed before the year 2100: Our Final Century? Will the Human Race Survive the Twenty-First Century? (Heinemann, 2003).
For more information about Zhuangzi, see Angus C. Graham (tr.), Chuang-tzu: The Seven Inner Chapters and Other Writings from the Book Chuang-tzu (Allen & Unwin, 1981). A translation of the butterfly dream story is on p. 61.
An analysis of the geometry underlying Escher’s print is provided in chapter 6 of Bruno Ernst’s The Magic Mirror of M. C. Escher (Taschen, 2007).
The Matrix gave rise to a series of books on popular philosophy of variable quality. One of the better ones is William Irwin (ed.), The Matrix and Philosophy (Open Court, 2002).
The quotation from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is in chapter 2 of part 3 (p. 249 of the Penguin edition).
For some discussion of Koro, see B. Y. Ng, ‘History of Koro in Singapore’, Singapore Medical Journal, 38(8) (August 1969): 356-7. A more general study of mass hallucinations is Robert E. Bartholomew’s Meowing Nuns and Head-Hunting Panics: A Study of Mass Psychogenic Illnesses and Social Delusion (McFarland, 2001); chapter 8 deals specifically with Koro.
James Boswell relates Dr Johnson’s reaction to Berkeley in volume 1 of his Life of Johnson, edited by George Birckbeck (Hill, Bigelow, Brown, 1921), p. 545. From a philosophical point of view, Johnson’s reply is woefully inadequate (nowhere does Berkeley claim that the mental nature of rocks and stones entails that they stop being hard), even though it does not lack a certain rustic charm. For what Berkeley would have replied, see his Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues, edited by Howard Robinson (Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 129. A more sophisticated variant of Johnson’s definition is given in chapter 4 of David Deutsch’s The Fabric of Reality (Penguin, 1997).
The quotation from Philip K. Dick comes from his ‘How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later’, in The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings (Vintage, 1996), pp. 259–80.
An interesting exploration of how the world would develop if all human beings suddenly vanished is presented by Alan Weisman in The World Without Us (Virgin Books, 2008).
The quotation from Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding can be found on pp. 391-2 of the first volume of the Dover edition (New York, 1959). It is hard to find the Indian source of the cosmological theory that the earth rests on an elephant and this on a tortoise (and the tortoise perhaps on something unknown, or nothing at all, or most intriguing, on adownwards infinite column of further tortoises). The earliest mention of this theory traceable so far comes from a letter written by a Jesuit missionary in India in 1599. Up to now, I have not been able to find any Indian text describing a stacked elephant-tortoise support.
A clear discussion of Vasubandhu’s arguments about the reality of matter is in Matthew Kapstein’s ‘Mereological Considerations in Vasubandhu’s “Proof of Idealism”’ reprinted in his Reason’s Traces (Wisdom, 2001), pp. 181–204. The same issues are taken up later in Immanuel Kant’s so-called second antinomy, on which see James van Cleve, ‘Reflections on Kant’s Second Antinomy’, Synthese, 47(3) (1981): 481–94.
The best introduction to Berkeley’s thought is still his very lively set of Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous. See George Berkeley, Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues, edited by Howard Robinson (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 97–208.
A tear-free introduction to key quantum mechanical concepts and a clear comparison of the various interpretations of the quantum mechanical formalism can be found in Nick Herbert’s Quantum Reality (Doubleday, 1985). A highly readable set of interviews with some of the key players in the development of quantum physics (originally produced as a BBC Radio 3 documentary) is P. C. W. Davies and J. R. Brown’s The Ghost in the Atom (Cambridge University Press, 1986).
For an account of the buckyball, see Markus Arndt et al., ‘Wave– Particle Duality of C60 Molecules’, Nature, 401 (1999): 680–2.
The experiment involving the metal strip is described in A. D. O’Connell et al., ‘Quantum Ground State and Single-Phonon Control of a Mechanical Resonator’, Nature, 464 (2010): 697–703.
Eugene Wigner’s remarks on the role of consciousness in quantum measurement can be found in his ‘Remarks on the Mind–Body Question’, included in a collection of essays entitled Symmetries and Reflections (Indiana University Press, 1967), pp. 171–84. More details on the case of ‘Wigner’s friend’, an interesting variant of the thought experiment involving Schrödinger’s cat, can be found in chapter 7 of Paul Davies, Other Worlds: Space, Superspace and the Quantum Universe (Simon & Schuster, 1980). For more recent developments arguing for the observer-dependence of what is real, see Matteo Smerlak and Carlo Rovelli, ‘Relational EPR’, http://xxx. lanl.gov/abs/quant-ph/0604064.
Roger Penrose describes his theories on the role of quantum phenomena in the explanation of consciousness in his Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness (Oxford University Press, 1994).
The quotation from Werner Heisenberg comes from his Physics and Philosophy (Harper & Row, 1962), p. 145.
Some more thoughts on scientific reduction can be found in W. V. Quine’s ‘Things and Their Place in Theories’, in his Theories and Things (Harvard University Press, 1981).
Stewart Shapiro’s Thinking about Mathematics (Oxford University Press, 2000) provides an accessible introduction to the Platonic view of mathematical objects, as well as to a variety of other theories of the nature of mathematics.
For a popular yet comprehensive account of theories that conceive of the physical world as the output of a computational process, see Kevin Kelly’s ‘God Is the Machine’, Wired, 10(12) (2002).
For Bohr’s view of the non-existence of quantum objects, see the discussion in Max Jammer’s The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics (Wiley, 1974), pp. 203–11. This is an excellent if demanding resource for analyses of the key aspects of the interpretation of the quantum mechanical formalism.
The curious experiences of the woman who irretrievably lost her self are described in Suzanne Segal’s very readable memoir Collision with the Infinite: A Life Beyond the Personal Self (Blue Dove Press, 1998). For more information on Cotard’s syndrome, see chapter 8 of David Enoch and Adrian Ball, Uncommon Psychiatric Syndromes (Hodder & Stoughton, 2001).
For an overview of the different locations of the self throughout history, see Giuseppe Santoro et al., ‘The Anatomic Location of the Soul From the Heart, Through the Brain, To the Whole Body, and Beyond’, Neurosurgery, 65(4) (2009): 633–43.
Daniel Dennett’s ‘Where Am I?’ is reprinted in chapter 13 of the excellent anthology The Mind’s I, edited by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett (Harvester Press, 1981). The selection given here is on pp. 218-19. In 1988, the Dutch director Piet Hoenderdos turned Dennett’s story into a film (starring Daniel Dennett as Daniel Dennett). You can watch it at http://video.google.com/vid eoplay?docid=8576072297424860224#.
The experiment with the virtual full-body illusion is described in Thomas Metzinger’s The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self (Basic Books, 2009), pp. 98–101.
A variant of the thought experiment of the self-destroying drug is described in Raymond Smullyan’s essay ‘An Unfortunate Dualist’ in his This Book Needs No Title (Simon & Schuster, 1980), pp. 53–5. This piece is discussed in The Mind’s I, pp. 384–8, where the original essay is also reprinted.
The quote from David Hume comes from his Treatise of Human Nature (Clarendon Press, 1896), p. 252.
The quote from Descartes can be found in John Cottingham et al., The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Vol. III: The Correspondence (Cambridge University Press, 1991), p. 143.
For more on the total flight simulator, see Thomas Metzinger’s The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self (Basic Books, 2009), pp. 104–8.
For the text of the entire Mahapunnama Sutta, see Bikkhu Nanamoli and Bikkhu Bodhi (tr.), The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom, 1995), pp. 887–91. For a related view of the self, see Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons (Clarendon Press, 1984).
Jorge Luis Borges describes the work of Tsu’i Pen in his story ‘The Garden of Forking Paths’. See his Collected Fictions (Penguin, 1999), pp. 119–28.
Accessible introductions to the many worlds interpretation are in Nick Herbert’s Quantum Reality (Doubleday, 1985), pp. 172–5, and Paul Davies’s Other Worlds (Simon & Schuster, 1980). For an interesting discussion that seeks to dispel some of the philosophical perplexities generated by this interpretation, see chapter 13 of Michael Lockwood’s Mind, Brain and Quantum (Basil Blackwell, 1989).
For Libet’s experiments, see Benjamin Libet et al., ‘Time of Conscious Intention to Act in Relation to Onset of Cerebral Activity (Readiness Potential): The Unconscious Initiation of a Freely Voluntary Act’, Brain, 106(3) (1983): 623–42.
Information on the influence of transcranial magnetic stimulation on intentional choice can be found in Joaquim Brasil-Neto et al., ‘Focal Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Response Bias in a Forced-Choice Task’, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 55 (1992): 964–6.
The experiment with the shared computer mouse is described in Daniel Wegner and Thalia Wheatley, ‘Apparent Mental Causation: Sources of the Experience of Will’, American Psychologist, 54 (1999): 480–92. Further discussion is in Daniel Wegner’s ‘The Mind’s Best Trick: How We Experience Conscious Will’, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7(2) (2003): 65–9, and Thomas Metzinger’s The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self’ (Basic Books, 2009), pp. 122–6.
Memetics was introduced by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularized the idea of gene-centred (rather than organism-centred) evolution. For more information on the t-gene in mice, see p. 236 of the thirtieth anniversary edition (Oxford, 2006). The view of the relation between memes and the self is set forth in Daniel Dennett’s Consciousness Explained (Penguin, 1993), pp. 199–208. A book-length discussion arriving at similar conclusions is Susan Blackmore’s The Meme Machine (Oxford University Press, 1999). For a different interpretation, see Kate Distin’s The Selfish Meme: A Critical Reassessment (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
The legend of the monk of Heisterbach is told in Goswin Peter Rath’s Rheinische Legenden (Greven Verlag Cologne, 1955), pp. 178–81.
McTaggart describes his proof of the unreality of time first in a paper of the same title in volume 17 of Mind (1908: 457–74), and later in chapter 33 of his two-volume The Nature of Existence (Cambridge University Press, 1921). An accessible summary of the argument can be found in chapter 8 of Robin Le Poidevin’s Travels in Four Dimensions: The Enigmas of Space and Time (Oxford University Press, 2003). McTaggart’s argument has triggered a large amount of philosophical discussion; the Further Reading in this volume lists the most important contributions.
A clear discussion of Gödel’s thought on time can be found in Palle Yourgrau’s Gödel Meets Einstein (Open Court, 1999). For an excellent explanation of the relativity of simultaneity, see Martin Gardner’s Relativity for the Million (Macmillan, 1962), pp. 40–5.
Russell’s five-minute hypothesis comes from his The Analysis of Mind (Allen & Unwin, 1921), p. 159. A similar argument is used by creationists to explain the existence of objects apparently pre-dating their preferred date of creation: God, it is claimed, just created all the apparent records of an illusory past at the same time as everything else. For some discussion, see chapter 1 of Martin Gardner’s Did Adam and Eve Have Navels? (W. W. Norton, 2000).
Felix Eberty first describes his idea of the present universe as a massive visual archive of the past in a short anonymous pamphlet Die Gestirne und die Weltgeschichte; Gedanken über Raum, Zeit und Ewigkeit published in 1846. It was further developed by Harry Mulisch in his 1997 novel The Discovery of Heaven: ‘If we had the technology to place a mirror on a celestial object forty light-years away, beamed images from earth to that mirror, then gazed at it through a very powerful telescope, we would see right now reflections of what took place on earth eighty years ago – forty years for earth’s light to reach the distant planet, and forty years for the reflection to reach earth. Past and present merge.’
On the phantom time hypothesis, see Heribert Illig, Das erfundene Mittelalter. Die größte Zeitfälschung der Geschichte (Econ, 1996). Material in English is limited, a summary can be found in Hans-Ulrich Niemitz’s ‘Did the Early Middle Ages Really Exist?’, at http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/volatile/Niemitz-1997.pdf. For a brief discussion, see also John Grant’s Bogus Science (Wisley, 2009), pp. 179–85.
For an accessible summary of the delayed-choice experiment, see Nick Herbert’s Quantum Reality (Doubleday, 1985), pp. 164–8. You can do your own delayed-choice experiment at home by following the description in Rachel Hillmer and Paul Kwiat, ‘A Do-It-Yourself Quantum Eraser’, Scientific American (May 2007): 90–5.
The name ‘Andromeda paradox’ derives from the discussion by Roger Penrose in his The Emperor’s New Mind (Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 260-1. The paradox had previously been discovered independently by C. W. Rietdijk in ‘A Rigorous Proof of Determinism Derived from the Special Theory of Relativity’, Philosophy of Science, 33 (1966): 341–4, and by Hilary Putnam in ‘Time and Physical Geometry’, Journal of Philosophy, 64 (1967): 240–4. For a detailed analysis of this paradox, see section 3 of the entry ‘Being and Becoming in Modern Physics’ in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ spacetime-bebecome.
The extract from the Confessions of St Augustine comes from section 26 of the eleventh book, E. B. Pusey (tr.), The Confessions of S. Augustine (John Henry Parker, 1838), p. 239.
For research into the duration of the subjective present, see Ernst Pöppel, Mindworks: Time and Conscious Experience (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988).
For some discussion of how the brain represents time, see pp. 144–53 of Daniel Dennett’s Consciousness Explained (Penguin, 1991).
A description of Libet’s experiments aimed at a general readership can be found in chapter 2 of his Mind Time: The Temporal Factor in Consciousness (Harvard University Press, 2004).
The ‘timeless’ theory described at the end of the chapter is due to Julian Barbour and is explained in detail in his book The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe (Phoenix, 1999). A highly informative review of this book and a discussion of many related issues by Jeremy Butterfield was published in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 53 (2002): 289–330. An extended version of this piece is available at http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0103055.