Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain ePUB


Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Life Is but a Dream Descartes Error Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain by Ant nio R Dam sio Original Review, 1994 11 17 Dave Chalmers did a great job of making consciousness popular but his own view was 400 years out of date Descartes is the real rigorous physicist here he was after all one of the people who devised physics What he meant by the soul and God being spirit is that they caused matter to move Matter for Descar If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Life Is but a Dream Descartes Error Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain by Ant nio R Dam sio Original Review, 1994 11 17 Dave Chalmers did a great job of making consciousness popular but his own view was 400 years out of date Descartes is the real rigorous physicist here he was after all one of the people who devised physics What he meant by the soul and God being spirit is that they caused matter to move Matter for Descartes was just the inert occupancy of a space extension So physics consisted of the interaction of spirit and matter We now call spirit force or energy and Descartes was quite right because thinking is all about electromagnetic fluxes which in themselves do not occupy space or have mass His mistake was to think that there had to be one special spirit unit Leibniz sorted that out in 1714 I had an unusually ambivalent reaction to this book and alternated between being fascinated and being, well, slightly bored I d say that the book is good and the author has some excellent insights, but he gets a little long winded at times and tends to meander For the curious, Descarte s error was the separation of mind and body, and consequently, an artificial dichotomy between rationality and emotion Damasio makes an excellent case on neurological grounds that rationality simply doesn t w I had an unusually ambivalent reaction to this book and alternated between being fascinated and being, well, slightly bored I d say that the book is good and the author has some excellent insights, but he gets a little long winded at times and tends to meander For the curious, Descarte s error was the separation of mind and body, and consequently, an artificial dichotomy between rationality and emotion Damasio makes an excellent case on neurological grounds that rationality simply doesn t work without emotion I read Descartes Error as an undergraduate In grad school, I learned that my advisor s wife herself a neuroscientist of some renown had a very poor opinion of Damasio s work However, by that point, this book had already changed my life.Damasio provides here a popular account of research in neuroscience that started with the famous case of Phinneas Gage, who, upon having a railroad spike shoved through his head by an explosion, changed from being an upstanding, reliable citizen into a scurri I read Descartes Error as an undergraduate In grad school, I learned that my advisor s wife herself a neuroscientist of some renown had a very poor opinion of Damasio s work However, by that point, this book had already changed my life.Damasio provides here a popular account of research in neuroscience that started with the famous case of Phinneas Gage, who, upon having a railroad spike shoved through his head by an explosion, changed from being an upstanding, reliable citizen into a scurrilous bastard with a gambling problem From this, as well as experimental work with other victims of brain damage, Damasio draws the conclusion that reason as we typically think of it is not an abstract process, but a fundamentally embodied one the brain and the body are in constant communication, and the brain uses feedback from the body to evaluate, prune, and select for further exploration the branches of a decision tree that, for even the most minor of problems when should we get together next would be otherwise unmanageably large.My interest in cognitive science and neuroscience were the natural outgrowths of my interest in computers and science fiction I grew up, as did most people of my generation, with the metaphor of the mind as a computer, executing logical programs in a way that would have made Aristotle and Descartes proud I knew from studies of psychology how apparently irrational the human mind could be, but until I read this book, I always thought the mind was, fundamentally, a separate thing from the body This book convinced me they are, at least as we implement them, inseparable Rene Descartes was a 17th French philosopher and scientist, often called the father of modern philosophy Descartes argued that mind is an essence that exists independent of brain this is known as Cartesian Dualism In Descartes Error , Antonio Damasio argues persuasively that that mind is inextricably linked to brain when you change the physical brain in specific, measurable ways, you induce specific and measurably changes in mind personality and behavior.Damasio illustrates this Rene Descartes was a 17th French philosopher and scientist, often called the father of modern philosophy Descartes argued that mind is an essence that exists independent of brain this is known as Cartesian Dualism In Descartes Error , Antonio Damasio argues persuasively that that mind is inextricably linked to brain when you change the physical brain in specific, measurable ways, you induce specific and measurably changes in mind personality and behavior.Damasio illustrates this through numerous examples, drawn from patients who ve exerienced brain damage due to trauma or disease, and emerged from the experience with a new personality and mental abilities.Given the evidence, it s very difficult to argue that the mind or soul is a non material essence that exists independent of the physical structure of the brain I was captivated and fascinated by this book, start to finish The book addresses the importance of emotion in cognition, thus pointing out Descartes error in separating mind from body In many ways, this book simply affirms things that I have known for many years, having spent 20 years as a dancer choreographer, but Damasio s perspective as a neuroscientist provides additional and compelling insights I recommend this book to anyone interested in cognition, psychology, philosophy, arts, or I was captivated and fascinated by this book, start to finish The book addresses the importance of emotion in cognition, thus pointing out Descartes error in separating mind from body In many ways, this book simply affirms things that I have known for many years, having spent 20 years as a dancer choreographer, but Damasio s perspective as a neuroscientist provides additional and compelling insights I recommend this book to anyone interested in cognition, psychology, philosophy, arts, or science basically, to just about anyone Having read and become involved with his later books, I have gone to the first in a series which explains the difference between emotion and feeling, which makes the mind and body one again, and which profoundly disturbs the comfortable idea of any but conventional separation of reason and the passions.Damasio is of the sufficient but not necessary strand when it comes to looking at the relationship between brain and mind you can t be human with the attributes of feelings, emotions, memory Having read and become involved with his later books, I have gone to the first in a series which explains the difference between emotion and feeling, which makes the mind and body one again, and which profoundly disturbs the comfortable idea of any but conventional separation of reason and the passions.Damasio is of the sufficient but not necessary strand when it comes to looking at the relationship between brain and mind you can t be human with the attributes of feelings, emotions, memory and so on without a brain, but all of the attributes relate to things beyond the brain in particular, the body I m a little puzzled as to why he looks forward to a time when we will understand such a thing as aesthetic response I am not sure, for one, that we are much further than Plato in beginning to understand aesthetics so finding even neural correlates with aesthetic states seems conceptually doomedimportantly it feeds into the current neuromanic slop that assumes with the intellectual grasp of a five year old that a mood state, a feeling, something like an aesthetic adjective are simple labels to things that exist with the solidity of a stone As I say, Damasio is aware of the dangers but sometimes, apart from inserted disclaimers, his enthusiasm for his subject tends to imply that while he is very good on the brain he has less of a grasp on the psychology, and of the immense conceptual complexities of enculturation.For all sorts of reasons though, I ll give this five stars not least because it s enjoyable and a highly accessible primer to some of the basic anatomy and hypothesised functions of the brain, and, most importantly, its embodiment we separate brain from body only for conventional convenience I find that Damasio s work fits for me with Lakoff and Johnson especially relating to the embodied mind , Mark Turner The Literary Mind , and Chambers, Clark et al the extended mind Although I cannot tell for certain what sparked my interest in the neural underpinnings of reason, I do know when I became convinced that the traditional views on the nature of rationality could not be correct Thus begins a book that takes the reader on a journey of discovery, from the story of Phineas Gage, the famous nineteenth century case of behavioral change that followed brain damage, to the contemporary recreation of Gage s brain and from the doubts of a young neurologist to a testable hypothesis concerning the emotions and their fundamental role in rational human behavior Drawing on his experiences with neurological patients affected by brain damage his laboratory is recognized worldwide as the foremost center for the study of such patients , Antonio Damasio shows how the absence of emotion and feeling can break down rationality In the course of explaining how emotions and feelings contribute to reason and to adaptive social behavior, Damasio also offers a novel perspective on what emotions and feelings actually are a direct sensing of our own body states, a link between the body and its survival oriented regulations, on the one hand, and consciousness, on the other Descartes Error leads us to conclude that human organisms are endowed from the very beginning with a spirited passion for making choices, which the social mind can use to build rational behavior ➷ [Reading] ➹ Gender in Psychoanalytic Space By Muriel Dimen ➬ – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk I do know when I became convinced that the traditional views on the nature of rationality could not be correct Thus begins a book that takes the reader on a journey of discovery ❴KINDLE❵ ❆ Insight and Interpretation Author Roy Schafer – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk from the story of Phineas Gage ❮Reading❯ ➳ Good People in an Evil Time ➬ Author Svetlana Broz – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk the famous nineteenth century case of behavioral change that followed brain damage [EPUB] ✵ On a Day Like This By Peter Stamm – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk to the contemporary recreation of Gage s brain and from the doubts of a young neurologist to a testable hypothesis concerning the emotions and their fundamental role in rational human behavior Drawing on his experiences with neurological patients affected by brain damage his laboratory is recognized worldwide as the foremost center for the study of such patients ➫ [Ebook] ➦ Heart to Start By Derek Handley ➶ – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk Antonio Damasio shows how the absence of emotion and feeling can break down rationality In the course of explaining how emotions and feelings contribute to reason and to adaptive social behavior [BOOKS] ⚣ Light without Fire By Scott Korb – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk Damasio also offers a novel perspective on what emotions and feelings actually are a direct sensing of our own body states [Ebook] ➠ Secrecy By Rupert Thomson – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk a link between the body and its survival oriented regulations [KINDLE] ❅ The Silence and the Roar By Nihad Sirees – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk on the one hand [PDF / Epub] ★ Hard Country ✈ Robin Robilliard – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk and consciousness ➛ [KINDLE] ❅ The Whale Rider By Witi Ihimaera ➥ – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk on the other Descartes Error leads us to conclude that human organisms are endowed from the very beginning with a spirited passion for making choices ❴PDF / Epub❵ ★ The Impossible David Lynch Author Todd McGowan – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk which the social mind can use to build rational behavior Ignore my bias of working in a body centered cognitive neuroscience laboratory whose nascence was likely inspired by researchers such as Demasio , but Demasio s theory resonates as a particularly well informed big level brain theory I ve read a number of others who attempt to explain away a lot of the mysteries of the brain by big level theories, but Demasio turns out to build one of thecompelling set of explanations based mostly on evidence from his years of research in dissociation s Ignore my bias of working in a body centered cognitive neuroscience laboratory whose nascence was likely inspired by researchers such as Demasio , but Demasio s theory resonates as a particularly well informed big level brain theory I ve read a number of others who attempt to explain away a lot of the mysteries of the brain by big level theories, but Demasio turns out to build one of thecompelling set of explanations based mostly on evidence from his years of research in dissociation studies in neurology Where others fail by skirting the issues of how neural structures and organization can lead to self consciousness and the link between mind and body, Demasio succeeds His message is simple we must not forget the entire biological organism when analyzing the brain The fallout from this main thesis is that proper cool headed reasoning , decision making, and logical thought is influenced by emotion, and vice versa This symbiosis theme continues as we are taught to remember that the brain is part of the body, and the body is part of the brain Forgetting the strong coupling between the two is denying the reality of the situation A brain in a vat is no brain at all Stylistically, Demasio writes an engaging tale The book is meant for a general audience, but I guess that most people unfamiliar with the brain structures, competing theories, and the general debate in philosophy of mind will find the content a bit heavy and must re read certain passages The book sags a bit in the middle editor please , but Demasio s theories of self to be found in the closing chapters are well worth the wait.I won t delve too much into the implications for neuroscience, but Demasio s claim only makes our task to describe the brain all thedifficult He sides with high level theorists, pointing out that no matter how well we understand the constituent units of our neurological system, it is not sufficient to describe behavior until we account for the whole picture This means that every high level experiment needs to understand that behavioral results can be not only task related but also influenced by background emotion, something difficult to measure and control Bref He s successfully left me with some new ideas and has made a compelling thesis Congrats very bad the title takes on a literal meaning as this book is good for 1 a further explication but just largely a complete repetition of Descartes philosophy under the guise of a correction 2 never pointing out any errors Descartes actually made, and falling in to all of the same traps Descartes did, most of which were pointed out in the 17th century. Damasio s book is terrific, and works both as an introduction and a good guide for those studying neuroscience and cognitive science The scientific case studies are easily accessible and thorough it features, by far, the most thorough assessment of the Phineas Gage case that I ve come across as are the discussions of circuitry Damasio does use some unqualified terms, but he does a reasonable job at keeping the very technical discussions brief or relatively well qualified by the context of th Damasio s book is terrific, and works both as an introduction and a good guide for those studying neuroscience and cognitive science The scientific case studies are easily accessible and thorough it features, by far, the most thorough assessment of the Phineas Gage case that I ve come across as are the discussions of circuitry Damasio does use some unqualified terms, but he does a reasonable job at keeping the very technical discussions brief or relatively well qualified by the context of the case studies.There are a lot of areas that Damasio glosses over, but that is largely because he is attempting to cover a fairly massive scope, in terms of science The text really is about the science, and it is only towards the end that Damasio really begins to address the philosophical assessment, at all There are some interesting methodological considerations for those who are approaching this book from the philosophy of mind bent, as I am I strongly recommend paying attention to Damasio s relatively interchangeable use of functions usually seen as properties of mind, and the the circuitry of the brain Damasio is a brilliant writer, and there is a lot of thought put into that particular assessment of causal relationships.The assessments of evolutionary psychology are very interesting, though I do have some skepticism with regard to some of Damasio s claims about genetics and the development of the brain, as he is not entirely clear about the role of genetics in the emergence of structures in the brain There s a sort of weird micro macrostructure distinction that isn t entirely clear to me, and I wish that portion of the text had beenlucid.That is really nit picky, though I think that, overall, this is one of the best books on the subject that I have come across I really like Damasio s writing style, though the asides can be a little rough, and feel a bit disjointed Overall, this is a terrific overview of the science and the repercussions on philosophical theories, both historical and contemporary Damasio doesn t present this as a screed against Descartes which would be gratuitous, as writers like Dan Dennett have already beaten that horse well to deal at this point but instead allows his account of the brain to be taken in its proper philosophical context Definitely a terrific text


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About the Author: António R. Damásio

Dam sio studied medicine at the University of Lisbon Medical School in Portugal, where he also did his medical residency rotation and completed his doctorate Later, he moved to the United States as a research fellow at the Aphasia Research Center in Boston His work there on behavioral neurology was done under the supervision of Norman Geschwind.As a researcher, Dr Dam sio s main interest is the neurobiology of the mind, especially neural systems which subserve memory, language, emotion, and decision making His research has helped to elucidate the neural basis for the emotions and has shown that emotions play a central role in social cognition and decision making Dam sio has formulated the somatic markers hypothesis.As a clinician, he and his collaborators study and treat the disorders of behavior and cognition, and movement disorders.Dam sio s books deal with the relationship between emotions and feelings, and what are their bases in the brain His 1994 book, Descartes Error Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain, was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and is translated in over 30 languages His second book, The Feeling of What Happens Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness, was named as one of the ten best books of 2001 by New York Times Book Review, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, a Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and has thirty foreign editions Dam sio s most recent book, Looking for Spinoza Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain, was published in 2003 In it, Dam sio explores philosophy and its relations to neurobiology, suggesting that it might provide guidelines for human ethics.He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Science s Institute of Medicine, and the European Academy of Arts and Sciences Dam sio has received many awards including the Prince of Asturias Award in Science and Technology, Kappers Neuroscience Medal, the Beaumont Medal from the American Medical Association and the Reenpaa Prize in Neuroscience He is also in the editorial board of many important journals in the field.His current work involves the social emotions, decision neuroscience and creativity.Prof Dam sio is married to Dr Hanna Dam sio, his colleague and co author of several works from Wikipedia