Splendors and Miseries of the Brain / Edition 1

Splendors and Miseries of the Brain / Edition 1

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by Semir Zeki
     
 

Splendors and Miseries of the Brain examines the elegant and efficient machinery of the brain, showing that by studying music, art, literature, and love, we can reach important conclusions about how the brain functions.
• discusses creativity and the search for perfection in the brain
• examines the power of the unfinished and why it has such a

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Overview

Splendors and Miseries of the Brain examines the elegant and efficient machinery of the brain, showing that by studying music, art, literature, and love, we can reach important conclusions about how the brain functions.
• discusses creativity and the search for perfection in the brain
• examines the power of the unfinished and why it has such a powerful hold on the imagination
• discusses Platonic concepts in light of the brain
• shows that aesthetic theories are best understood in terms of the brain
• discusses the inherited concept of unity-in-love using evidence derived from the world literature of love
• addresses the role of the synthetic concept in the brain (the synthesis of many experiences) in relation to art, using examples taken from the work of Michelangelo, C zanne, Balzac, Dante, and others

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781405185585
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
01/19/2009
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

Note to the Reader ix

Acknowledgments x

Introduction 1

PART I Abstraction and the Brain 7

1 Abstraction 9

2 The Brain and its Concepts 21

3 Inherited Brain Concepts 26

4 The Distributed Knowledge-Acquiring System of the Brain 35

5 The Acquired Synthetic Brain Concepts 42

6 The Synthetic Brain Concept and the Platonic Ideal 46

7 Creativity and the Source of Perfection in the Brain 50

PART II Brain Concepts and Ambiguity 59

8 Ambiguity in the Brain and in Art 61

9 Processing and Perceptual Sites in the Brain 65

10 From Unambiguous to Ambiguous Knowledge 73

11 Higher Levels of Ambiguity 87

PART III Unachievable Brain Concepts 99

Introduction 101

12 Michelangelo and the Non finito 102

13 Paul Cézanne and the Unfinished 111

14 Unfinished Art in Literature 120

PART IV Brain Concepts of Love 129

Conte by Arthur Rimbaud 131

15 The Brain's Concepts of Love 132

16 The Neural Correlates of Love 137

17 Brain Concepts of Unity and Annihilation in Love 150

18 Sacred and Profane 158

19 The Metamorphosis of the Brain Concept of Love in Dante 170

20 Wagner and Tristan und Isolde 182

21 Thomas Mann and Death in Venice 193

22 A neurobiological analysis of Freud's Civilization and its Discontents 203

Notes 213

Index 227

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