Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain [NOOK Book]

Overview

Since Descartes famously proclaimed, "I think, therefore I am," science has often overlooked emotions as the source of a person’s true being. Even modern neuroscience has tended, until recently, to concentrate on the cognitive aspects of brain function, disregarding emotions. This attitude began to change with the publication of Descartes’ Error in 1995. Antonio Damasio—"one of the world’s leading neurologists" (The New York Times)—challenged traditional ideas about the connection between emotions and ...
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Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain

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Overview

Since Descartes famously proclaimed, "I think, therefore I am," science has often overlooked emotions as the source of a person’s true being. Even modern neuroscience has tended, until recently, to concentrate on the cognitive aspects of brain function, disregarding emotions. This attitude began to change with the publication of Descartes’ Error in 1995. Antonio Damasio—"one of the world’s leading neurologists" (The New York Times)—challenged traditional ideas about the connection between emotions and rationality. In this wondrously engaging book, Damasio takes the reader on a journey of scientific discovery through a series of case studies, demonstrating what many of us have long suspected: emotions are not a luxury, they are essential to rational thinking and to normal social behavior.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101640135
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/27/2005
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 301,302
  • File size: 968 KB

Meet the Author

Antonio Damasio, a neurologist and neuroscientist, is at the University of Southern California, where he directs a new brain research institute dedicated to the study of emotion and creativity. He is also an adjunct professor at the Salk Institute. The recipient of numerous awards (several shared with his wife Hanna Damasio, also a neurologist and neuroscientist), he is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of two other widely acclaimed books, The Feeling of What Happens and Looking for Spinoza.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2006

    Thoughtful analysis of how the mind works.

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2002

    Intriguing for Doctors and Sociologists Alike

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 29, 2008

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    Posted January 16, 2015

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    Posted August 21, 2010

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