In Defense of Human Consciousness
In Defense of Human Consciousness defies trends in psychology, sociology, and science that reduce the role of human intention in thought and behavior. Unlike the many descriptions of the human psyche that rely on behavioralist or biophysical, mechanistic views, this volume presents a model of the mind that reinforces the important role of free will in consciousness.
Whereas other scientists, psychologists, and sociologists tend to explain human action from the outside, Rychlak affirms that humans are purposive and have intentions that can best be explained by taking an internal perspective on consciousness. He confronts many essential questions about the nature of consciousness: Does free will exist? Does thinking occur through a biological process? How much human intelligence and wisdom is locked in the unconscious? Is a computer conscious? How relevant are our concepts of selfhood?
In keeping with the traditions of philosophy, Rychlak measures his own logical learning theory of consciousness against the theories of other philosophers, psychologists, and scientists. By contrasting and comparing his own theories with everything from psychoanalysis to evolution to the currently reigning interpretations of consciousness and the new science of artificial intelligence, Rychlak consistently proves the applicability of his approach. Passionate, intellectually rigorous, and breathtaking in its historic scope, this volume stands as a testament to—and a confirmation of—the dignity of the human mind.
List of Figures
- In Search of a Grounding
- Shifting Grounds to the Logos
- The Concept of Psychic Consciousness Across the Ages
- Psychoanalyzing Psychic Consciousness
- The Evolutionary Connection
- The Telic Triune: Consciousness, Self, and Free Will
- Computers and Consciousness
- Altered States of Consciousness
- Collectives and Consciousness
- Sundry Points for Further Consideration
About the Author
In Defense of Human Consciousness, by Joe Rychlak, is an attempt to apply a teleological theory of mind to the multifaceted phenomena of "consciousness." As with Rychlak's other writings, this volume is intellectually thorough, challenging, and well worth the time and effort needed to grasp its points…Rychlak's defense of human consciousness is an extremely important work. It shows that humanistic ideals can be incorporated into a theory that is rigorous and open to empirical test. Study this volume carefully; it is well worth the time and effort you will spend on it. It can be a beacon that illuminates the growing edge of psychology into the future.
—The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Vol. 20, No. 3, Summer 1999