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This title in other editions

Soul Made Flesh the Discovery of the BR


Soul Made Flesh the Discovery of the BR Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this unprecedented history of a scientific revolution, award-winning author and journalist Carl Zimmer tells the definitive story of the dawn of the age of the brain and modern consciousness. Told here for the first time, the dramatic tale of how the secrets of the brain were discovered in seventeenth-century England unfolds against a turbulent backdrop of civil war, the Great Fire of London, and plague. At the beginning of that chaotic century, no one knew how the brain worked or even what it looked like intact. But by the century's close, even the most common conceptions and dominant philosophies had been completely overturned, supplanted by a radical new vision of man, God, and the universe. andlt;BRandgt; Presiding over the rise of this new scientific paradigm was the founder of modern neurology, Thomas Willis, a fascinating, sympathetic, even heroic figure at the center of an extraordinary group of scientists and philosophers known as the Oxford circle. Chronicled here in vivid detail are their groundbreaking revelations and the often gory experiments that first enshrined the brain as the physical seat of intelligence — and the seat of the human soul. andlt;Iandgt;Soul Made Fleshandlt;/Iandgt; conveys a contagious appreciation for the brain, its structure, and its many marvelous functions, and the implications for human identity, mind, and morality.

About the Author

Carl Zimmer's work appears regularly in The New York Times, National Geographic, Newsweek, Discover, Natural History, and Science. A John S. Guggenheim Fellow, he has also received the Pan-American Health Organization Award for Excellence in International Health Reporting and the American Institute of Biological Sciences Media Award. His previous books include Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea; Parasite Rex; and At the Water's Edge. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Bowl of Curds

Chapter One: Hearts and Minds, Livers and Stomachs

• Greeks explore the soul, puzzle over the brain, and embrace the heart

• Christians build a soul from ancient parts

• Natural philosophy is born and anatomy becomes a sacred art

• Vesalius discovers monkeys where men once stood

• The Greeks are transformed, the soul questioned

Chapter Two: World Without Soul

• Anatomy of the cosmos

• Galileo's new sky

• Marin Mersenne makes the world a machine

• Pierre Gassendi sanctifies the atom

• Descartes's anatomy of clear ideas

• The human body as earthen machine

• The soul climbs into its cockpit

• An arrest

• The perfect argument

• The ice queen makes Descartes an offer

• The captive leaves its prison

Chapter Three: Make Motion Cease

• Thomas Willis with the beasts of the field

• Protestants and Puritans

• The divine right of kings and the complaints of Parliament

• God and Aristotle at Oxford

• Servant and alchemist

• Mystical medicine comes to England

Chapter Four: The Broken Heart of the Republic

• Charles I stumbles toward war

• Fever swings its scythe

• Portrait of a physician as a young man

• Willis fights for his king

• Oxford dark and nasty

• William Harvey under siege

• Harvey at the school of Aristotle

• Harvey finds the soul in the blood and says little about the brain

• Harvey discovers the circle of blood

• Oliver Cromwell tightens the noose

• Surrender to madness

Chapter Five: Pisse-Prophets Among the Puritans

• Thomas Willis returns

• Medicine in the marketplace

• Ferments dissolve the four humors

• The Puritans demand an oath

• The Oxford Experimental Philosophy Club

• William Petty: From Thomas Hobbes's mouth to Thomas Willis's ear

• Charles becomes a martyr to the people

• England the republic

• The madness of defeat

• The Miraculous Case of Anne Greene, or A Clock Reset • William Petty measures the soul of a nation

• Willis hosts an illegal church

Chapter Six: The Circle of Willis

• William Harvey comes out of retirement

• Thomas Willis searches for the agents of fever

• The Experimental Philosophy Club fights for its life and for respectability

• Hobbes as politician and neurologist

• Robert Boyle gives shape to the New Science

Chapter Seven: Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Air

• Willis stirs up a ferment of atoms

• A crude dream of the brain

• Cromwell uprooted

• Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke pump away the soul

• Christopher Wren, surgeon and injector

• The return of the king

Chapter Eight: A Curious Quilted Ball

• The Church of England meets its less than divine leader

• Thomas Willis becomes hero of a nation

• "I addicted myself to the opening of heads"

• Willis discovers a doctrine of the nerves

• The Royal Society

Chapter Nine: Convulsions

• The lady with a migraine

• Convulsions in the year of plague and fire

Chapter Ten: The Science of Brutes

• From Oxford to London

• Richard Lower transfuses blood into a madman

• Lower and Hooke discover Willis's mistake in the lungs of dogs

• Willis constructs a doctrine of the soul

• Madness explained

• Thomas Willis avoids Hobbes's fate

Chapter Eleven: The Neurologist Vanishes

• A final book by Thomas Willis and a ridiculously sumptuous funeral

• How John Locke buried his teacher

• Robert Boyle sees the future before he dies and is not consoled

Chapter Twelve: The Soul's Microscope

• A long journey forward

• The soul as information

• Lightning in a nerve

• The wisdom of the reflex

• Neurologists read the brain

• MRI and the module

• The networked mind

• The able animal soul

• Emotion with reason, not versus

• Steel syrup and Prozac

• The self anatomized

• The social brain

• Morals and neurons

• Lady Conway and Dr. Willis meet again

Dramatis Personae





Product Details

Zimmer, Carl
Atria Books
General science
Life Sciences - Anatomy & Physiology
Life Sciences - Human Anatomy & Physiology
History of Science-General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
June 2005
Grade Level:
index, bibli, endnotes, dramatis persona
8.44 x 5.5 in 11.9 oz

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Neurobiology
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

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