Two neuroscientists trace a sweeping new vision of consciousness across eighteen increasingly intelligent minds, from microbes to humankind and beyond.
Why do minds exist? How did mud and stone develop into beings that can experience longing, regret, love, and compassion—beings that are aware of their own experience? Until recently, science offered few answers to these existential questions. Journey of the Mind is the first book to offer a unified account of the mind that explains how consciousness, language, the Self, and civilization emerged incrementally out of chaos.
The journey begins three billion years ago with the emergence of the simplest possible mind, a nanoscopic archeon, then ascends through amoebas, worms, frogs, birds, monkeys, and AI, examining successively smarter ways of thinking. The authors explain the mathematical principles generating conscious experience and show, through vivid illustrations and accessible prose, how these principles led cities and democratic nations to develop new forms of consciousness—the self-aware “superminds.” Journey of the Mind concludes by contemplating a higher stage of consciousness already emerging—and the ultimate fate of all minds in the universe.
*Includes a downloadable PDF of illustrations from the book