Only small questions permit satisfactory answers. Big questions, like the nature of consciousness, endlessly impassion us but obdurately refuse answers. And, of course, any answers we had would only lead to further perplexing questions.
In tackling consciousness, the full frontal assault, as often practised by philosophers and, in a different way, by neuroscientists, can only get us so far. Tim Parks’ new book is a refreshing attempt to creep up on the hard question obliquely.