Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain

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Harcourt, 2003 - Philosophy - 355 pages
46 Reviews
Joy, sorrow, jealousy, and awe--these and other feelings are the stuff of our daily lives. Thought to be too private for science to explain and not essential for understanding cognition, they have largely been ignored. But not by Spinoza, and not by Antonio Damasio. Here, in a humane work of science, Damasio draws on his innovative research and on his experience with neurological patients to examine how feelings and the emotions that underlie them support human survival and enable the spirit's greatest creations.
Looking for Spinoza reveals the biology of our sophisticated survival mechanisms. It rediscovers a thinker whose work prefigures modern neuroscience, not only in his emphasis on emotions and feelings, but also in his refusal to separate mind and body. Together, the scientist and the philosopher help us understand what we're made of, and what we're here for. Based on laboratory investigations but moving beyond those to society and culture, "Looking for Spinoza" is a master work of science and writing.
Antonio Damasio, widely recognized as one of the world's leading neuroscientists, has for decades been investigating the neurobiological foundations of human life. In "Descartes' Error" he explored the importance of emotion in rational behavior, and in "The Feeling of What Happens" he developed the neurobiology of the self. Damasio's new book on feeling and emotion offers unexpected grounds for optimism about our survival and the human condition.

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Review: Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain

User Review  - Dave Peticolas - Goodreads

Damasio lays out the latest thinking and research (his and others) on the neurological and biological basis of feelings and emotions. He winds into his narrative a discussion of Spinoza and the ways ... Read full review

Review: Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain

User Review  - Peter Mantius - Goodreads

Damasio tries to link cutting edge research on brain function to the 17th century philosopher who thought religion would be better off shedding its doctrines based on the supernatural. The technical ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Antonio Damasio is the Van Allen Professor and head of the department of neurology at the University of Iowa Medical Center and is an adjunct professor at the Salk Institute in San Diego. Descartes' Error was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and has been translated into twenty-three languages. He lives in Iowa City and Chicago.

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