Introduction: Man, Brain and Science

  • John C. Eccles
Part of the Heidelberg Science Library book series (HSL)


All men of good will would subscribe to the concept that we must strive to foster and develop the fullest possible life for mankind, not just here and now, but indefinitely into the future, as has been so eloquently expressed by Dubos (1968). It is my belief that we will be successful only insofar as we appreciate the nature of man and plan accordingly. Man is self-reflecting in that he has the ability to objectify himself and to consider the kind of being he is and what he wants to become. Man alone is conscious of himself and is alone capable, as it were, of standing outside of himself and regarding himself as an object. As I come to consider the nature of man, I discover that I have direct access to privileged information about one—namely myself with my self-consciousness. I am not going to use this assertion in order to develop a solipsistic thesis. I shall be at pains to show that I have to recognize an equivalent self-consciousness in all other human beings. My philosophical position (cf. Eccles, 1965 a, 1965 b, 1969 a) is diametrically opposite to those who would relegate conscious experience to the meaningless role of an epiphenomenon.


Conscious Experience Cerebral Nerve Cell Evolutionary Story Conscious Life Universal Determinism 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Eccles
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, School of Medicine and DentistryState University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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