Cover, Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-7

Contents

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pp. vii-9

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

I have two aims in this book. First, I aim to persuade you that people in general know very little about what might seem to be obvious features of their stream of conscious experience — where by “ conscious experience ” I mean sensory experience, visual imagery, inner speech, emotional experience, and the whole variety of subjective phenomena...

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1. Recoloring the Dreamworld

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pp. 1-15

In 1951, Calvin S. Hall announced in Scientific American that 29 percent of dreams have at least some color in them. He called such dreams “ technicolored, ” explicitly likening them to the technicolor movies that were increasingly prevalent at the time and implicitly contrasting them with lower-tech...

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2. Do Things Look Flat?

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pp. 17-33

I have a penny on my desk, and I ’ m viewing it obliquely. Does it look circular? Or, instead, do I only know or judge that the penny is circular, while the figure it presents to my sight — its actual visual appearance — is an ellipse? I gaze out my window and see a row of streetlights. Do they look as if they shrink...

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3. Galton’s Other Folly

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pp. 35-55

Francis Galton was one of the great intellectual pioneers of the Victorian era. He explored Africa, introduced the pressure-system weather map, invented the statistical concepts of correlation and regression, and published influential works on heredity, fingerprints, and genius. His interest in quantification was sometimes whimsical...

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4. Human Echolocation (with Michael S. Gordon)

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pp. 57-69

Hold this book open before you and read this sentence aloud. Can you hear where the book is? Can you hear that it has a certain size, shape, and texture? Pull the book away and continue to speak. Can you hear the emptiness of the space before you? If you close your eyes and speak, can...

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5. Titchener’s Introspective Training Manual

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pp. 71-90

We err, or at least are susceptible to confusion, about much of our stream of experience: our dreams (chapter 1), our imagery (chapter 3), our visual experience of depth (chapter 2), our auditory experience of echolocation (chapter 4). And more examples will come. In such matters our judgment is easily led astray. If I am right about...

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6. Do You Have Constant Tactile Experience of Your Feet in Your Shoes?

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pp. 91-115

Do you have constant tactile experience of your feet in your shoes? Constant auditory experience of the hum of traffic in the background? Constant visual experience of the frames of your eyeglasses? Or, when you aren’t attending to such matters, do they drop out of consciousness, so that they are in no way part...

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7. The Unreliability of Naive Introspection

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pp. 117-137

Current conscious experience is generally the last refuge of the skeptic against uncertainty. Though we might doubt the existence of other minds, that the sun will rise tomorrow, that the earth existed five minutes ago, or that there is any external world at all, still, it is said, we can know the basic features of our ongoing...

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8. When Your Eyes Are Closed, What Do You See?

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pp. 139-159

I would rather end this book with a tangle of questions than with the pessimism of the previous chapter. I am not an utter skeptic, nor do I think we should abandon efforts to understand the stream of experience. Let ’ s plunge once more into the thicket, with a fresh topic. My aim is not as much to establish pessimism...

Notes

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pp. 161-186

References

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pp. 187-218

Index

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pp. 219-225