A lively collection of literature, science and art delving into the mysteries of human consciousness, with a new introduction by Mark Haddon, published to coincide with a major exhibition at Wellcome Collection in 2016
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends and where the other begins?" Edgar Allan Poe
Understanding the nature of consciousness continues to challenge even our leading scientists and psychologists. Yet we all experience some form of consciousness and make daily journeys between different conscious states as we sleep and wake. Through the eyes of writers, artists, scientists and philosophers, States of Mind explores the meaning of consciousness and, in particular, the nature of interrupted or liminal conscious experiences, such as somnambulism, synaesthesia and disorders of memory.
These diverse – even conflicting – perspectives pose fundamental questions about what it means to be alive, aware and human.
This engaging collection draws on five centuries of thinking, probing science and the soul, language and memory, being and not being. It includes works by Jane Austen, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Arthur Conan Doyle, Francis Crick, René Descartes, Emily Dickinson, H L Gold, Franz Kafka, H P Lovecraft, Marcel Proust, Mary Shelley, Henry David Thoreau, Alan Turing, H G Wells and Emile Zola.
Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects science, medicine, life and art. Wellcome Collection exhibitions, events and books explore a diverse range of subjects, including consciousness, forensic medicine, emotions, sexology, identity and death.
Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive, funding over 14,000 researchers and projects in more than 70 countries.