Intro to Consciousness + QRI Reading List

Published April 6, 2020, Page Last Modified June 27, 2023

Over the past couple weeks, multiple people have asked me for reading recommendations related to consciousness and more specifically, getting caught up to speed with QRI (Qualia Research Institute) (a).

The large interest made me realize it’s worth just publishing the reading list I share.

Now, if you are strictly interested in the Hard Problem of Consciousness, then this list might not be for you. But if you have even an ounce of compassion, then this list is definitely for you.

Hopefully, there will be an Intro to QRI book that gets published in the next few months, but until then, this should be a great start 😊. Besides pieces 1, 1a, 3, and 16, all other pieces were written by Andrés Gómez Emilsson and Michael Edward Johnson.

Must Reads

  1. Consciousness Realism: The Non-Eliminativist Physicalist View of Consciousness (Magnus Vinding) (a)

    1a (Optional). What Is It Like to Be a Bat? (Thomas Nagel) (a)

  2. QRI Glossary (a)

  3. Their Scientific Significance is Hard to Oversate (David Pearce) (a)

  4. The Tyranny of the Intentional Object (a)

  5. Wireheading Done Right: Stay Positive Without Going Insane (a)

  6. The Universal Plot: Part I – Consciousness vs. Pure Replicators (a)

  7. Hedonium (a)

    7a (Optional). Utilitronium Shockwaves vs. Gradients of Bliss (a)

  8. Principia Qualia: Part II – Valence (a)

    8a (Optional). Symmetry Theory of Valence “Explain Like I’m 5” edition (a)

  9. The Super-Shulgin Academy: A Singularity I Can Believe In (a)

Extra Reading (Once You Get Through Those Above!)

  1. Investing Time and Resources in Happiness (a)

  2. Against functionalism: why I think the Foundational Research Institute should rethink its approach (a)

  3. Quantifying Bliss: Talk Summary (a)

  4. Logarithmic Scales of Pleasure and Pain: Rating, Ranking, and Comparing Peak Experiences Suggest the Existence of Long Tails for Bliss and Suffering (a)

  5. The Neuroscience of Meditation: Four Models (a)

  6. Ontological Qualia: The Future of Personal Identity (a)

  7. 15a. Open Individualism and Antinatalism: If God could be killed, it’d be dead already (a)

  8. Wada Test + Phenomenal Puzzles: Testing the Independent Consciousness of Individual Brain Hemispheres (Quintin Frerichs) (a)

  9. Principia Qualia (a)

  10. Algorithmic Reduction of Psychedelic States (a)

  11. The Hyperbolic Geometry of DMT Experiences: Symmetries, Sheets, and Saddled Scenes (a)

  12. The Pseudo-Time Arrow: Explaining Phenomenal Time With Implicit Causal Structures In Networks Of Local Binding (a)

  13. How to secretly communicate with people on LSD (a)

  14. LSD and Quantum Measurements: Can you see Schrödinger’s cat both dead and alive on acid? (a)


Zuckerman, Andrew, "Intro to Consciousness + QRI Reading List", April 6, 2020,


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