The Brain and the Unity of Conscious Experience

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


I believe that this problem that I am talking to you about today would have been one of particular interest to Sir Arthur Eddington. Repeatedly in his books he made reference to the problem of consciousness in relation to the physical world that he spoke about with such imagination and such understanding. I can instance his attitude to conscious experience by two brief quotations from his Swarthmore Lecture (1929), Science and the Unseen World:

“In comparing the certainty of things spiritual and things temporal, let us not forget this—Mind is the first and most direct thing in our experience; all else is remote inference.

Picture first consciousness as a bundle of sense-impressions and nothing more ... . But picture again consciousness, not this time as a bundle of sense-impressions, but as we intimately know it, responsible, aspiring, yearning, doubting, originating in itself such impulses as those which urge the scientist on his quest for truth.”


Nerve Cell Perceptual Experience Conscious Experience Gene Combination Left Visual Field 
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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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