Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain

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Random House, Sep 4, 2008 - Psychology - 352 pages
12 Reviews
In the centuries 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. Antonio Damasio challenged traditional ideas about the connection between emotions and rationality. In this wonderfully 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 behaviour.

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User Review  - browner56 - LibraryThing

Can we really “free” our reasoning minds from emotional contexts in our thought processes? Writing in the 17th century, the French philosopher Rene Descartes thought so (or at least I think he thought ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AliceAnna - LibraryThing

Very dry, very difficult reading. The "error" of the book has to do with the statement, "I think, therefore I am." Damasio says that because we are, we think -- that it evolved. Frankly, I think they ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Antonio Damasio is a University Professor, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Neurology, and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. Damasio's other books include Self Comes to Mind, Looking for Spinoza and The Feeling of What Happens. He has received the Honda Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, and, shared with his wife Hanna, the Pessoa, Signoret, and Cozzarelli prizes. Damasio is a fellow of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He lives in Los Angeles.

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