Consciousness: An Introduction 4th Edition

Front cover of the book, two heads facing each other, with multi-coloured stripes and lines resembling hair. With a black background. And underneath the text: Consciousness: An Introduction. Fourth Edition

The fourth edition of Consciousness: An Introduction, Blackmore, S. and Troscianko, E. 2024

Now in its fourth edition, this highly popular text is the definitive introduction to consciousness, exploring the key theories and evidence in consciousness studies ranging from neuroscience and psychology to quantum theories and philosophy.

  • Paperback: 766 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 4th edition (19 April 2024)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1032292563
  • ISBN-13: 978-1032292564

The book examines why the term ‘consciousness’ has no recognised definition. It also provides an opportunity to delve into personal intuitions about the self, mind, and consciousness. Featuring comprehensive coverage of all core topics in the field, the book explains why the problem of consciousness is so hard. Theories of attention and free will, altered states of consciousness, and the differences between conscious and unconscious are all explored. Written with students of psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy in mind, this edition has been thoroughly updated throughout, and includes expanded coverage of panpsychism, illusionism, predictive processing, adversarial collaboration, psychedelics, and AI.

Buy this book from our publisher, Routledge. 20% off with discount code EFLY01

Watch Tucson Concurrent Session “Studying and measuring consciousness” (with Sue Blackmore and Emily Troscianko)

There is a lot more information and exercises for students on the companion website. There is also a list of additional resources and a collection of 8 companion videos made by Susan and Emily on the General Resources page, which we hope you will find useful.

Read more about Consciousness, from my research page on the topic.

See reviews of the book or add it to your reading list at Google Books

Critic’s Reviews

‘This is a monumental achievement – an accessible introduction to the science and philosophy of consciousness that somehow manages to be up-to-date, comprehensive and penetrating. The authors treat each topic (and there are many) with depth, panache, and enthusiasm. Superbly organized, and even-handed without being vanilla, this is essential reading for anyone interested in the philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of consciousness.’

Andy Clark FBA, FRSE. Professor of Cognitive Philosophy, University of Sussex, UK, and Author of The Experience Machine: How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality


‘This book is a terrific introduction to the deep and fascinating puzzle of consciousness. Blackmore and Troscianko delight, illuminate and intrigue the reader, as well as outlining a wide variety of perspectives on consciousness, from the psychological and neuroscientific, to the spiritual and the literary.’

Nick ChaterProfessor of Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School, UK, and author of The Mind is Flat


‘An eminently readable, deeply literary primer tailored [to undergraduates and] all those curious about where that voice inside their head comes from. This text delves into the myriad ways philosophies from the East and the West have sought to integrate the subjective, inner world of emotions and thoughts, into the objective, tangible universe. Eschewing a singular doctrinal stance, -ism or theory, the text sheds light on the diverse strategies scholars, psychologists, and neuroscientists employ to grapple with the central enigma at the heart of existence – the fact that we can experience anything.

Christof KochMeritorious Investigator, Allen Institute, Seattle, US


The classic introduction for consciousness studies: Competent, entertaining and accessible. It covers an enormous range of topics from machine consciousness to altered states and secular spirituality. Do check out this new and largely expanded edition!’

Thomas Metzinger, Philosophisches Seminar, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany


‘This is my favourite book on consciousness. The authors’ love for the subject shines through. It is fantastically readable, introducing complex ideas by explaining the personalities and histories that led to their development.’

Jackie AndradeProfessor of Psychology, University of Plymouth, UK


The Fourth Edition of Consciousness (Blackmore and Troscianko) lives up to the excellent contribution of the previous editions. This book is a much needed resource for students and scholars, summarizing a vast range of theories and perspectives on consciousness, and taking a careful, skeptical, and above all a rational approach to each one. The authors are not fooled by the magicalism or spiritualism that has infiltrated so much of the literature. The correct scientific theory of consciousness probably lies somewhere within this book.’

Michael GrazianoProfessor of Neuroscience and Psychology at Princeton University, US


Buy this book

Buy this book from or from

Blackmore, S. and Troscianko, E. 2024 Consciousness: An Introduction, Fourth Edition, London, Routledge. (19 April 2024), ISBN-10: 1032292563