Disenchantment

Just finished Thomas Metzinger’s new book The Ego Tunnel (which you can get for a few dollars at Abebooks — Amazon want some ridiculous price).

It’s a very good survey of current mind studies. Metzinger is a philosopher, but he’s up to date on the neuroscience, and there isn’t too much philosopher’s mumbo-jumbo. What there is, is quite eye-catching — I liked “affordances.”

Metzinger is thoughtful about the ethical/social/political consequences of the “consciousness revolution”:

We may no longer be able to regard our own consciousness as a legitimate vehicle for our metaphysical hopes and desires. … Max Weber famously spoke of the “disenchantment of the world,” as rationalization and science led Europe and America into modern industrial society, pushing back religion and all “magical” theories about reality. Now we are witnessing the disenchantment of the self.

One of the many dangers in this process is that if we remove the magic from our image of ourselves, we may also remove it from our image of others. We could become disenchanted with one another …

A very good read, worth the price just for the chapter on volition (Chapter 4).

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