This is a volume in the "Thinking about Thought" series which provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Linguistics, Philosophy of Mind, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Physics, Relativity, Thermodynamics, Evolutionism, theories of dreams, theories of emotions and theories of consciousness. This volume contains the following chapters: 1.Dreams 2.Emotions 3.The History Of Consciousness 4.Consciousness: The Factory Of Illusions 5.The Physics Of Consciousness 6.The Self And Free Will
Piero Scaruffi is a poet, cognitive scientist, cultural historian and free thinker. Born in Italy in 1955, he published two collections of poems, "L'Ultimo" ("The Last One") and "Dialogo degli Amanti" ("Dialogue of the Lovers") before switching to the English language. Each won a national award. After graduating in 1982 in Mathematics from the University of Turin with a thesis on quarks, he relocated to Silicon Valley to work in the software industry, pioneering Internet-based applications, and later conducting research on Artificial Intelligence at Olivetti's Technology Center and at Stanford University. He has lectured in three continents on Cognitive Science and History of Knowledge, whose readers were eventually compiled as "A Brief History of Knowledge" (2011), and has published several scientific books, notably "Demystifying Machine Intelligence" (2013). In the meantime he reviewed music and cinema, at first for magazines and later for his own website. His main books on music are: "A History of Jazz Music 1900-2000" (2007), "A History of Popular Music before Rock Music" (2007), and "A History of Rock and Dance Music" (2009). His website offers about 6,000 profiles of musicians and more than 20,000 reviews of albums. He pioneered Internet-based journalism. In 1985 he started his first e-zine, distributed by e-mail over the Internet. Between 1986 and 1990 he created an online database, downloadable via ftp. In 1995 that database mutated into his own website: www.scaruffi.com. He has organized several interdisciplinary cultural events in the Bay Area, culminating with the Leonardo Art Science Evenings (LASERs) on behalf of Leonardo ISAST and in collaboration with University of San Francisco, Stanford University and UC Berkeley among others. Having spent three decades in Silicon Valley, in 2011 he published "A History of Silicon Valley." His e-book "A Visual History of the Visual Arts" (2012) is available for free from his website. An avid traveler who spends months on the road, he has visited more than 150 countries of the world. All along he continued writing the poems and essays that were collected in his book "Synthesis" (2009).