The Snares of Consciousness

I’ve taken to skimming Alex Rosenberg’s The Atheist’s Guide to Reality. Though I agree fully with the book’s premise, and particularly like the bracing concept of nice nihilism, the writing style is supercilious and wearing. I have however made many notes, including the one below.

To escape the snares of consciousness, we won’t really need much empirical science about the mind. This is fortunate, since there isn’t much yet. The real science of psychology is only just getting started now that we have some tools for figuring out how the brain works. Producing results in psychology is going to be very difficult because it is the hardest science. It is harder than quantum mechanics or superstring theory. This is not because the right theory of how the brain works requires a lot of math we can’t make sense of. The full story about the brain will be complicated because it is such a fantastically complicated organ.

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