Proust Was a Neuroscientist

Proust Was a Neuroscientist

by Jonah Lehrer
4.0 26

Paperback(Reprint)

$14.30 $14.95 Save 4% Current price is $14.3, Original price is $14.95. You Save 4%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Get it by Friday, September 29 , Order now and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.
    Same Day delivery in Manhattan. 
    Details

Overview

Proust Was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer


In this technology-driven age, it’s tempting to believe that science can solve every mystery. After all, science has cured countless diseases and even sent humans into space. But as Jonah Lehrer argues in this sparkling debut, science is not the only path to knowledge. In fact, when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first.
Taking a group of artists — a painter, a poet, a chef, a composer, and a handful of novelists — Lehrer shows how each one discovered an essential truth about the mind that science is only now rediscovering. We learn, for example, how Proust first revealed the fallibility of memory; how George Eliot discovered the brain’s malleability; how the French chef Escoffier discovered umami (the fifth taste); how Cézanne worked out the subtleties of vision; and how Gertrude Stein exposed the deep structure of language — a full half-century before the work of Noam Chomsky and other linguists. It’s the ultimate tale of art trumping science.
More broadly, Lehrer shows that there’s a cost to reducing everything to atoms and acronyms and genes. Measurement is not the same as understanding, and art knows this better than science does. An ingenious blend of biography, criticism, and first-rate science writing, Proust Was a Neuroscientist urges science and art to listen more closely to each other, for willing minds can combine the best of both, to brilliant effect.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547085906
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 09/01/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 380,814
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jonah Lehrer is a Contributing Editor at Wired and a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. He writes the Head Case column for The Wall Street Journal and regularly appears on WNYC’s Radiolab. His writing has also appeared in Nature, The New York Times Magazine, Scientific American and Outside. He’s the author of two previous books, Proust Was A Neuroscientist and How We Decide. He graduated from Columbia University and attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Proust Was a Neuroscientist 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not only does the author have a complete and up-to-date understanding of the latest research in neuroscience, he must also have a broad grasp of literature, philosophy and the arts (even cooking!) to write so engagingly about the connections between neuroscience and these diverse areas. Linking the current understanding about how the brain works with each of these diverse arts the reader gets a deeper understanding of how we deal with life. What is it about music that moves us? What drove the evolution of art from realism to modern forms of art? What makes us like a painting. The history of science figured into all of the stories as it drove changes in literature and philosophy as each metaphore of science became the latest influence ie the clockwork universe of Newton, and the steam engine metaphore that influenced Freud. When I finished the book I understood not only what infuenced the great authors, artists, poets, musicians and cooks but why people then and now find them interesting. And, of course, all this erudition is the background for illustrating the working of the mind in a delightful way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The material in the book is fascinating and current. The book is great because it makes the science it describes interesting for those with a science background and simultaneously for those who know little to nothing about science.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because it had my favorite cookie on the cover but I have become so incredibly obsessed with modern science because of it. The author has a knack for making science seem exciting and cool. I can't recommend this book enough!!
rayzern More than 1 year ago
I love this author; perhaps I am late to get onto the neuroscience bandwagon, but I found this to be a very well-written and provocative book, though a little short in length and short on conclusions. I read "Imagine" as well and found them both to be very interesting and well-written books. I want to encourage this author and will probably buy his books in the future, as long as he truly puts some effort into them. I love to read books like this which do not assume the reader is an idiot. Good read and I definitely appreciate his research and thoughtfulness. Would definitely recommend.
cantstopreading39 More than 1 year ago
Connecting his experience in science with knowledge of arts and artists, Lehrer provides challenging and exciting insights into how we work and what is possible to human intelligence. He explores various artists' achievements in literature, music, painting and cooking and shows how they foreshadowed scientific discoveries. Left me pondering each point and exploring where else the same ideas may apply. If you're ready to stretch your mind, this is your starting point.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lorraine4075 More than 1 year ago
This book has been the topic of more late night discussions than any book I have read in 10 years! A must read! And not just for the scientifically inquisitive. Thought provoking and enlightening, without being too obtuse. Worthy of multiple reads in order to sift through all the tasty tidbits and make notes of the books, artists and chefs you're dying to revisit!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Willy More than 1 year ago
After reading, I viewed the workings of the brain in a new light--especially the material on the truthfulness of one's memories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Book was very creative and informative. Especially liked how he addressed the latest on how each of the senses functioned with the brain.