Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge

Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge

by Gerald M. Edelman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300120397

ISBN-13: 9780300120394

Pub. Date: 10/24/2006

Publisher: Yale University Press


Burgeoning advancements in brain science are opening up new perspectives on how we acquire knowledge. Indeed, it is now possible to explore consciousness—the very center of human concern—by scientific means. In this illuminating book, Dr. Gerald M. Edelman offers a new theory of knowledge based on striking scientific findings about how the brain works.

Overview


Burgeoning advancements in brain science are opening up new perspectives on how we acquire knowledge. Indeed, it is now possible to explore consciousness—the very center of human concern—by scientific means. In this illuminating book, Dr. Gerald M. Edelman offers a new theory of knowledge based on striking scientific findings about how the brain works. And he addresses the related compelling question: Does the latest research imply that all knowledge can be reduced to scientific description?

Edelman’s brain-based approach to knowledge has rich implications for our understanding of creativity, of the normal and abnormal functioning of the brain, and of the connections among the different ways we have of knowing. While the gulf between science and the humanities and their respective views of the world has seemed enormous in the past, the author shows that their differences can be dissolved by considering their origins in brain functions. He foresees a day when brain-based devices will be conscious, and he reflects on this and other fascinating ideas about how we come to know the world and ourselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300120394
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
10/24/2006
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Contents

PREFACE....................ix
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS....................xi
INTRODUCTION....................1
one The Galilean Arc and Darwin's Program....................5
two Consciousness, Body, and Brain....................12
three Selectionism A Prerequisite for Consciousness....................23
four From Brain Activity to Consciousness....................35
five Epistemology and Its Discontents....................43
six A Brain-Based Approach....................53
seven Forms of Knowledge The Divorce between Science and the Humanities....................68
eight Repairing the Rift....................76
nine Causation, Illusions, and Values....................88
ten Creativity The Play between Specificity and Range....................98
eleven Abnormal States....................106
twelve Brain-Based Devices Toward a Conscious Artifact....................125
thirteen Second Nature The Transformation of Knowledge....................142
NOTES....................159
BIBLIOGRAPHY....................173
INDEX....................183

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