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Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain (Paperback)

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Description


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.

About 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.

Praise for Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain…


Introduction xi

PART I

Unpleasantness in Vermont 3

Gage's Brain Revealed 20

A Modern Phineas Gage 34

In Colder Blood 52

PART II

Assembling an Explanation 83

Biological Regulation and Survival 114

Emotions and Feelings 127

The Somatic-Marker Hypothesis 165

PART III

Testing the Somatic-Marker Hypothesis 205

The Body-Minded Brain 223

A Passion for Reasoning 245

Postscriptum 253

Notes and References 269

Further Reading 293

Acknowledgments 299

Index 301

Product Details ISBN-10: 014303622X
ISBN-13: 9780143036227
Published: Penguin Books, 09/27/2005
Pages: 336
Language: English