In this wondrously lucid and engaging book, renowned neurologist Antonio Damasio demonstrates what many of us have long suspected: emotions are not a luxury, they are essential to rational thinking.
Descartes' Error takes the reader on an enthralling journey of scientific discovery, starting with the case of Phineas Gage--a construction foreman who in 1848 survived a freak accident in which a 3 1/2 foot iron rod passed through his head--and continuing on to Damasio's experiences with modern-day neurological patients affected by brain damage. Far from interfering with rationality, his research shows us, the absence of emotion and feeling can break down rationality and make wise decision making almost impossible.
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DESCARTES' ERROR: Emotion, Reason and the Human BrainUser Review - Kirkus
Few neuroscientists today would defend Cartesian dualism—the idea that mind and body are separate—but Damasio takes one more leap: Not only are philosophers wrong to separate brain and body, but ... Read full review
Descartes' error: emotion, reason, and the human brainUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
The idea that the mind exists as a distinct entity from the body has profoundly influenced Western culture since Descartes proclaimed, "I think, therefore I am." Damasio, head of neurology at the ... Read full review
Unpleasantness in Vermont
Gages Brain Revealed
A Modern Phineas Gage
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The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life
Limited preview - 1998