Consciousness raising 1

April 2, 2004

I was taken aback by Susan Blackmore's unenthusiastic review of Max Velmans' How Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains? (Books, March 26).

In discussions about consciousness, there are doers who produce original thought, commentators and those who try to keep abreast of developments. Velmans and his contributors are doers. They have initiated a fascinating debate of the pros and cons of Velmans' theories.

Blackmore writes of Velmans "falling into classic traps", stringing out "old conundrums" and believing in zombies without justification. These are partial opinions of Velmans' well-developed arguments. They could prevent interested readers from getting a view of the depth of the debate.

Igor Aleksander
Emeritus Leverhulme fellow
Imperial College London

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