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Dreaming Souls : Sleep, Dreams and the Evolution of the Conscious Mind

Dreaming Souls : Sleep, Dreams and the Evolution of the Conscious Mind - 00 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195142358

Cover of Dreaming Souls : Sleep, Dreams and the Evolution of the Conscious Mind 00 (ISBN 978-0195142358)
ISBN13: 978-0195142358
ISBN10: 0195142357
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 00
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published: 2000
International: No

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Dreaming Souls : Sleep, Dreams and the Evolution of the Conscious Mind - 00 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195142358

Owen Flanagan

ISBN13: 978-0195142358
ISBN10: 0195142357
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 00
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Published: 2000
International: No
Summary

The most illuminating scientific theory of dreams and sleep to emerge since Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams a century ago

What, if anything, do dreams tells us about ourselves? What is the relationship between types of sleep and types of dreams? Does dreaming serve any purpose? Or are dreams simply meaningless mental noise--''unmusical fingers wandering over the piano keys''?

With expertise in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, Owen Flanagan is uniquely qualified to answer these questions. And in Dreaming Souls he provides both an accessible survey of the latest research on sleep and dreams and a compelling new theory about the nature and function of dreaming. Flanagan argues that while sleep has a clear biological function and adaptive value, dreams are merely side effects, ''free riders,'' irrelevant from an evolutionary point of view. But dreams are hardly unimportant. Indeed, Flanagan argues that dreams are self-expressive, the result of our need to find or to create meaning, even when we're sleeping. Rejecting Freud's theory of manifest and latent content--of repressed wishes appearing in disguised form--Flanagan shows how brainstem activity during sleep generates a jumbled profusion of memories, images, thoughts, emotions, and desires, which the cerebral cortex then attempts to shape into a more or less coherent story. Such dream-narratives range from the relatively mundane worries of non REM sleep to the fantastic confabulations of deep REM that resemble psychotic episodes in their strangeness. But however bizarre these narratives may be, they can shed light on our mental life, our well being, and our sense of self.

Written with clarity, lively wit, and remarkable insight, Dreaming Souls offers a fascinating new way of apprehending one of the oldest mysteries of mental life.

Author Bio

Flanagan, Owen : Duke University

Owen Flanagan is the James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy and Chair, Professor Psychology-Experimental, and Professor of Neurobiology, Duke University. He is the author of The Science of Mind, Consciousness Reconsidered, Varieties of Moral Personality and Self Expressions (OUP).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue: "To Sleep: Perchance to Dream"

1. Heart Throbs
2. The Dreaming Mind
3. Sleepy Heads
4. Dreams: The Spandrels of Sleep
5. Self-Expression in Dreams
6. Philosophical Perplexities

Epilogue: Here Comes the Sun
Selected Bibliography
Index

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