- Gardners Books
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- 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)
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Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
The French philosopher René Descartes could not have been more wrong, according to Antonio Damasio, a neurologist at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. Descartes thought the mind was completely separate from the body - an immaterial 'thinking thing,' the essence of which was cool conscious reasoning untainted by base physical influence. Through his research on patients with prefrontal cortex damage, Damasio discovered that reason, like almost all mental processes, is 'embodied,' that is, based in the human being¿s physical self. Emotions and other states that are rooted in physicality profoundly influence not only what people reason about, but how they reason. Without them, people either can¿t make decisions or they make self-defeating ones. This book tells how Damasio created, developed and tested his theory of embodied cognition, which is now widely influential in psychology, neuroscience and behavioral economics. We recommend this refreshingly nuanced, conversationally told (though sometimes desultory) narrative of scientific invention and discovery to readers who want to learn about this profound, influential set of ideas from the source. You will never think about your mind the same way again.
If you have a basic understanding of science and human physiology, then you will find this book fascinating. Damasio uses all the correct terminology, which can be a bit thick at times for the non-scientist. However, the reward of reading this book comes at the end. Damasio makes a very thoughtful and well-built explanation of how and why we think and do what we do. The charts are very helpful. This book will change your way of thinking and perhaps even change your life.