How do sensations arise in the brain? Who else in the world is conscious the way humans are? Nicholas Humphrey brings together a lifetime’s work to put forward a provocative new theory.
We feel, therefore we are. Conscious sensations ground our sense of self. They are crucial to our idea of ourselves as psychic beings: present, existent, and mattering. But what does this magical dimension of experience amount to? What’s it for, and why has it evolved? Humphrey’s solution implies that phenomenal consciousness, far from being primitive, is a relatively late and sophisticated evolutionary development. The implications, for the existence of sentience in nonhuman animals, are startling and provocative.