Looking for Spinoza

Looking for Spinoza : Joy, Sorrow and the Human Brain

3.94 (1,329 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Completing the trilogy that began with"Descartes' Error"and continued with"The Feeling of What Happens," noted neuroscientist Antonio Damasio now focuses the full force of his research and wisdom on emotions. He shows how joy and sorrow are cornerstones of our survival. As he investigates the cerebral mechanisms behind emotions and feelings, Damasio argues that the internal regulatory processes not only preserve life within ourselves, but they create, motivate, and even shape our greatest cultural accomplishments.
If Descartes declared a split between mind and body, Spinoza not only unified the two but intuitively understood the role of emotions in human survival and culture. So it is Spinoza who accompanies Damasio as he journeys back to the seventeenth century in search of a philosopher who, in Damasio's view, prefigured modern neuroscience.
In"Looking for Spinoza"Damasio brings us closer to understanding the delicate interaction between affect, consciousness, and memory--the processes that both keep us alive and make life worth living.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 355 pages
  • 158 x 230.1 x 30.7mm | 621.43g
  • Harcourt Brace International
  • Orlando, United States
  • English
  • 0151005575
  • 9780151005574
  • 2,088,551

Review quote

PRAISE FOR"THE FEELING OF WHAT HAPPENS"
"One of the best brain stories of the decade . . . This is a must-read book for anyone wanting a neurologist's perspective on one of the greatest unsolved mysteries."--"The New York Times Book Review"
"The first truly compelling neurobiological account of the self . . . A remarkable work of intellectual daring."--"Nature"
"What makes his views so noteworthy is that they're grounded not in theoretical musings but in years of clinical research."--Time
"The book's clear, beautiful language, its fascinating case studies and the way in which it brings difficult scientific issues to life . . . may actually make it a landmark in the interdisciplinary project of consciousness research."--"Scientific American"
PRAISE FOR"DESCARTES' ERROR"
"A tour de force of sheer reflective imagination."--"The Times Literary Supplement"
"In"Descartes' Error," he brings all these gifts together in a fascinating explorations
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Flap copy

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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Back cover copy

Advance praise for"Looking for Spinoza"
"This is the boldest, the most satisfying, and the most personal of Antonio Damasio's books, presenting dazzling insights into the nature of emotion and feeling."
-- Oliver Sacks, author of"The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat"and"Uncle"
"Tungsten"
"This is an enticingly original work that offers page after page of startling insights about the workings of the mind. It creates in its entirety that rarest of effects: the quality of revelation."
--William Styron, author of"Sophie's Choice"and"Darkness Visible"
"Damasio, one of the leading thinkers about the function of the human brain, has done it again! He has written a remarkable book about the biological underpinnings of feelings and their ramifications for human behavior. We could not ask for a better guide to take us through this domain."
--Eric R. Kandel, Nobel Laureate, Columbia University
"In Looking for Spinoza, Damasio, one of the world's foremost neurologists, addresses some of the most difficult questions concerning brain and mind, in the context of a deep and wide grasp of art, music and, philosophy. This book is a huge and most impressive accomplishment."
--David Hubel, Nobel Laureate, Harvard University
"A brilliant intellectual exercise but also a meditation, on how to reach happiness and a better life. A rare and almost unique attempt to examine the most recent neurobiological knowledge about emotions and feelings in the framework of Spinoza's thinking."
-- Jean-Pierre Changeux, College de France and Institut Pasteur
"A brilliant and fortifying book. Looking for Spinoza offers us more than a riveting narrative of intellectual affiliation, and more than a scientifically refined regard for what it means to be human; it offers a new frontier for genuinely informed hope.
--Peter Sacks, Harvard University
"An extraordinary book-beautifully written and deeply, incisively, creating connections across time and space."
--Peter Brook, Theater and Film Director
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Rating details

1,329 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 31% (409)
4 41% (546)
3 22% (287)
2 5% (68)
1 1% (19)
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