Descartes' error: emotion, reason, and the human brain

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Quill, 1994 - Medical - 312 pages
88 Reviews
"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.

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有趣。有作用。

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

User Review  - Allison Murray - Goodreads

Another interesting book if reading about cognitive research turns you on. Read full review

Contents

Unpleasantness in Vermont
3
Gages Brain Revealed
20
A Modern Phineas Gage
34
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Antonio Damasio was born in Lisbon, Portugal and studied medicine at the University of Lisbon Medical School, where he also did his neurological residency and completed his doctorate. Eventually, he moved to the United States as a research fellow at the Aphasia Research Center in Boston. From 1976 to 2005, he was M.W. Van Allen Professor and Head of Neurology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He is currently the David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Neurology, and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. He has written several books on his research including Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, which won the Science et Vie prize; The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness; and Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain. He has also received the Prince of Asturias Award in Science and Technology, the Kappers Neuroscience Medal, the Beaumont Medal from the American Medical Association, the Nonino Prize, the Reenpaa Prize in Neuroscience, and the Honda Prize.