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

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Penguin, Sep 27, 2005 - Psychology - 336 pages
10 Reviews
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.
 

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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

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarkBeronte - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
Introduction
Unpleasantness in Vermont
Gages Brain Revealed
A Modern Phineas Gage
In Colder Blood
Assembling an Explanation
Biological Regulation and Survival
Emotions and Feelings
The SomaticMarker Hypothesis
Testing the SomaticMarker Hypothesis
The BodyMinded Brain
A Passion for Reasoning
Notes and References
Further Reading
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

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.

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