Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind

Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind

by Gerald M. Edelman
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

We are on the verge of a revolution in neuroscience as significant as the Galilean revolution in physics or the Darwinian revolution in biology. Nobel laureate Gerald M. Edelman takes issue with the many current cognitive and behavioral approaches to the brain that leave biology out of the picture, and argues that the workings of the brain more closely resemble the

Overview

We are on the verge of a revolution in neuroscience as significant as the Galilean revolution in physics or the Darwinian revolution in biology. Nobel laureate Gerald M. Edelman takes issue with the many current cognitive and behavioral approaches to the brain that leave biology out of the picture, and argues that the workings of the brain more closely resemble the living ecology of a jungle than they do the activities of a computer. Some startling conclusions emerge from these ideas: individuality is necessarily at the very center of what it means to have a mind, no creature is born value-free, and no physical theory of the universe can claim to be a ”theory of everything” without including an account of how the brain gives rise to the mind. There is no greater scientific challenge than understanding the brain. Bright Air, Brilliant Fire is a book that provides a window on that understanding.

Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times Book Review
Edelman is one of those lucky researchers who may be on the verge of answering some of the most profound questions in science today.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this challenging, exhilarating leap by a disciplined and original mind, Nobel Prize-winner Edelman (medicine, 1972) throws a neurobiological line between two ships--mind and matter--in the stormiest of scientific seas. In his defense of the biological component of mind, Edelman ( The Remembered Pres ent ) disposes of cognitive and behavioral theories of consciousness. To take up the slack, he extends current developments in brain neuroscience well into speculation. He is far too modest in stating that his goal is ``to dispel the notion that the mind can be understood in the absence of biology,'' for the book is a near-kinetic series of critiques and proposals to connect physics and psychology. The ``Harmonies'' section draws on other disciplines--philosophy, linguistics and psychiatry, among others--to entwine these tendrils of thought into a ``unified theory'' of mind. Illustrations not seen by PW . Natural Science Book Club selection. (Apr . )
Library Journal
Edelman, Nobel laureate and director of the Neurosciences Institute, is the author of three previous books on the biology of the brain. His latest book advances the theory that the mind has arisen through evolutionary morphology. According to Edelman, the mind is not a kind of computer but a product of the biological forms that have developed through natural selection. To support his theory, Edelman offers a mini-course in modern molecular biology and development. By the author's own admission, this is ``strenuous'' reading, complete with ``strange vocabulary.'' Nevertheless, Edelman presents his theory with enthusiasm and a genuine desire to discover the origins of the mind. Readers well-grounded in physics, biology, and philosophy will find his ideas extremely challenging. Primarily for academic libraries.-- Laurie Bartolini, Lincoln Lib., Springfield, Ill.
Booknews
Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Edelman leads nonspecialists through the current state of knowledge about the brain, and presents a new and original way of looking at how the brain and the mind are connected. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465047178
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
07/28/1973
Pages:
304

Meet the Author

Gerald M. Edelman is director of the Neurosciences Institute and chairman of the Department of Neurobiology at the Scripps Research Institute. He received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1972. He is also the author of Bright Air, Brilliant Fire; Tobiology; and The Remembered Present.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >