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

by

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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"In clear, accessible and at times eloquent prose, Damasio is outlining nothing less than a new vision of the human soul, integrating body and mind, thought and feeling, individual survival and altruism, humanity and nature, ethics and evolution." -SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

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. In Looking for Spinoza, Damasio, one of the world's leading neuroscientists, 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 rediscovers a thinker whose work prefigures modern neuroscience, not only in his emphasis on emotions and feelings, but 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.

"Exceptionally engaging and profoundly gratifying . . . Achieves a unique combination of scientific exposition, historical discovery and deep personal statement regarding the human condition." -NATURE

Antonio Damasio is the Van Allen Distinguished 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 La Jolla, California. The recipient of numerous awards, 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. Damasio's books are read and taught in universities worldwide.

CITATION:
"Damasio has the rare talent of rendering science intelligible while also being gifted in philosophy, literature and wit."
(Margaret Jacob, Los Angeles Times) CITATION:
"In clear, accessible and eloquent prose, Damasio is outlining a new vision of the human soul."
(William Kowinski, San Francisco Chronicle) CITATION:
"Looking for Spinoza is exceptionally engaging and profoundly gratifying."
(Ray Dolan, Nature) CITATION:
"Compelling."
(Scientific American)

Synopsis:

The last in a trilogy of books that investigates the philosophical and scientific foundations of human life

 

Joy, sorrow, jealousy, and awe—these and other feelings are the stuff of our daily lives. In the seventeenth century, the philosopher Spinoza devoted much of his life's work examining how these emotions supported human survival, yet hundreds of years later the biological roots of what we feel remain a mystery. Leading neuroscientist Antonio Damasio—whose earlier books explore rational behavior and the notion of the self—rediscovers a man whose work ran counter to all the thinking of his day, pairing Spinoza's insights with his own innovative scientific research to help us understand what we're made of, and what we're here for.

Synopsis:

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, Collège 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


About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Contents

CHAPTER 1 Enter Feelings

Enter Feelings

The Hague

Looking for Spinoza

Beware

In the Paviljoensgracht

CHAPTER 2 Of Appetites and Emotions

Trust Shakespeare

Emotions Precede Feelings

A Nesting Principle

More on the Emotion-Related Reactions: From Simple Homeostatic Regulation to Emotions-Proper

The Emotions of Simple Organisms

The Emotions-Proper

A Hypothesis in the Form of a Definition

The Brain Machinery of Emotion

Triggering and Executing Emotions

Out of the Blue

The Brain Stem Switch

Out-of-the-Blue Laughter

Laughter and Some More Crying

From the Active Body to the Mind

CHAPTER 3 Feelings

What Feelings Are

Is There More to Feelings than the Perception of Body State?

Feelings Are Interactive Perceptions

Mixing Memory with Desire: An Aside

Feelings in the Brain: New Evidence

A Comment on Related Evidence

Some More Corroborating Evidence

The Substrate of Feelings

Who Can Have Feelings?

Body States versus Body Maps

Actual Body States and Simulated Body States

Natural Analgesia

Empathy

Hallucinating the Body

The Chemicals of Feeling

Varieties of Drug-Induced Felicity

Enter the Naysayers

More Naysayers

CHAPTER 4 Ever Since Feelings

Of Joy and Sorrow

Feelings and Social Behavior

Inside a Decision-Making Mechanism

What the Mechanism Accomplishes

The Breakdown of a Normal Mechanism

Damage to Prefrontal Cortex in the Very Young

What If the World?

Neurobiology and Ethical Behaviors

Homeostasis and the Governance of Social Life

The Foundation of Virtue

What Are Feelings For?

CHAPTER 5 Body, Brain, and Mind

Body and Mind

The Hague, December 2, 1999

The Invisible Body

Losing the Body and Losing the Mind

The Assembly of Body Images

A Qualification

The Construction of Reality

Seeing Things

About the Origins of the Mind

Body, Mind, and Spinoza

Closing with Dr. Tulp

CHAPTER 6 A Visit to Spinoza

Rijnsburg, July 6, 2000

The Age

The Hague, 1670

Amsterdam, 1632

Ideas and Events

The Uriel da Costa Affair

Jewish Persecution and the Marrano Tradition

Excommunication

The Legacy

Beyond the Enlightenment

The Hague, 1677

The Library

Spinoza in My Mind

CHAPTER 7 Who's There?

The Contented Life

Spinoza's Solution

The Effectiveness of a Solution

Spinozism

Happy Endings?

Appendices

Notes

Glossary

Acknowledgments

Index

Copyright © 2003 by Antonio Damasio

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work

should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department,

Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156028714
Author:
Damasio, Antonio
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Author:
Damasio, Antonio R.
Location:
Orlando, Fla.
Subject:
History
Subject:
Neuropsychology
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
Mind & Body
Subject:
Emotions
Subject:
Philosophy & Aspects
Subject:
Psychology-Mood Disorders and Depression
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Harvest ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
97/22
Publication Date:
20031231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
20 black-and-white illustrations through
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.74 lb

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Mind and Consciousness
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Mood Disorders and Depression
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science

Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156028714 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The last in a trilogy of books that investigates the philosophical and scientific foundations of human life

 

Joy, sorrow, jealousy, and awe—these and other feelings are the stuff of our daily lives. In the seventeenth century, the philosopher Spinoza devoted much of his life's work examining how these emotions supported human survival, yet hundreds of years later the biological roots of what we feel remain a mystery. Leading neuroscientist Antonio Damasio—whose earlier books explore rational behavior and the notion of the self—rediscovers a man whose work ran counter to all the thinking of his day, pairing Spinoza's insights with his own innovative scientific research to help us understand what we're made of, and what we're here for.

"Synopsis" by ,
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, Collège 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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