"What seems lucid when it is articulated can actually be murky when it is closely examined."
In its fifth essay collection – the largest and perhaps most ambitious to date – Siri Hustvedt enters into the philosophical fundamental problem "what is consciousness?" with skin and hair. The dead metaphor is appropriate here because she attributes to the body a much greater meaning than its main opponents. Those she strongly disagrees with are represented by, among others, the popular science and popular writers Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker. She thinks their overly confident titles like How the Mind Works og The selfish gene are both misleading and ideologically problematic.
Ironic title selection. If consciousness is a central theme of the essay collection, why is it called A Woman Looking At Men Looking At Women? I'm really wondering. Why has the publisher chosen to use a 15-page essay as a title, when the most impressive and substantial contribution is a text of around 200 pages with a review of consciousness research from Descartes to the present day? Ironically, this reinforces Hustvedt's feminist point that women are not taken seriously enough in a debate characterized by so-called "hard" scientific research, for women. . .
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