Search results for: descartes-error

Descartes Error

Author : Antonio Damasio
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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.

Descartes Error

Author : Antonio Damasio
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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.

Damasio s Error and Descartes Truth

Author : Andrew Lee Gluck
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The question of the relationship between mind and body as posed by Descartes, Spinoza, and others remains a fundamental debate for philosophers. In Damasio's Error and Descartes' Truth, Andrew Gluck constructs a pluralistic response to the work of neurologist Antonio Damasio. Gluck critiques the neutral monistic assertions found in Descartes' Error and Looking for Spinoza from a philosophical perspective, advocating an adaptive theory—physical monism in the natural sciences, dualism in the social sciences, and neutral monism in aesthetics. Gluck's work is a significant and refreshing take on a historical debate.

Argument and Persuasion in Descartes Meditations

Author : David Cunning
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Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy has proven to be not only one of the canonical texts of Western philosophy, but also the site of a great deal of interpretive activity in scholarship on the history of early modern philosophy over the last two decades. David Cunning's monograph proposes a new interpretation, which is that from beginning to end the reasoning of the Meditations is the first-person reasoning of a thinker who starts from a confused non-Cartesian paradigm and moves slowly and awkwardly toward a grasp of just a few of the central theses of Descartes' system. The meditator of the Meditations is not a full-blown Cartesian at the start or middle or even the end of inquiry, and accordingly the Meditations is riddled with confusions throughout. Cunning argues that Descartes is trying to capture the kind of reasoning that a non-Cartesian would have to engage in to make the relevant epistemic progress, and that the Meditations rhetorically models that reasoning. He proposes that Descartes is reflecting on what happens in philosophical inquiry: we are unclear about something, we roam about using our existing concepts and intuitions, we abandon or revise some of these, and then eventually we come to see a result as clear that we did not see as clear before. Thus Cunning's fundamental insight is that Descartes is a teacher, and the reader a student. With that reading in mind, a significant number of the interpretive problems that arise in the Descartes literature dissolve when we make a distinction between the Cartesian and non-Cartesian elements of the Meditations, and a better understanding of surrounding texts is achieved as well. This important volume will be of great interest to scholars of early modern philosophy.

Reflections on the Problem of Consciousness

Author : Errol E. Harris
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The essential and most puzzling problem of consciousness is how the electro-chemical activity constantly occurring in the brain translates into the conscious experience we enjoy. This study considers the attempts that have been made by several important neuro-scientists and philosophers to address the question, and makes its own suggestions.

Descartes Deontological Turn

Author : Noa Naaman-Zauderer
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This book offers a way of approaching the place of the will in Descartes' mature epistemology and ethics. Departing from the widely accepted view, Noa Naaman-Zauderer suggests that Descartes regards the will, rather than the intellect, as the most significant mark of human rationality, both intellectual and practical. Through a close reading of Cartesian texts from the Meditations onward, she brings to light a deontological and non-consequentialist dimension of Descartes' later thinking, which credits the proper use of free will with a constitutive, evaluative role. She shows that the right use of free will, to which Descartes assigns obligatory force, constitutes for him an end in its own right rather than merely a means for attaining any other end, however valuable. Her important study has significant implications for the unity of Descartes' thinking, and for the issue of responsibility, inviting scholars to reassess Descartes' philosophical legacy.

Descartes Reinvented

Author : Tom Sorell
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In this study, Tom Sorell seeks to rehabilitate views that are often instantly dismissed in analytic philosophy. His book serves as a reinterpretation of Cartesianism and responds directly to the dislike of Descartes in contemporary philosophy. To identify what is defensible in Cartesianism, Sorell starts with a picture of unreconstructed Cartesianism, which is characterized as realistic, antisceptical but respectful of scepticism, rationalist, centered on the first person, dualist, and dubious of the comprehensiveness of natural science and its supposed independence of metaphysics. Bridging the gap between history of philosophy and analytic philosophy, Sorell also shows for the first time how some contemporary analytic philosophy is deeply Cartesian, despite its outward hostility to Cartesianism.

Aristotle on the Function of Tragic Poetry

Author : Gregory Michael Sifakis
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The Brain That Changes Itself

Author : Norman Doidge
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What is neuroplasticity? Is it possible to change your brain? Norman Doidge’s inspiring guide to the new brain science explains all of this and more An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable, and proving that it is, in fact, possible to change your brain. Psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity, its healing powers, and the people whose lives they’ve transformed—people whose mental limitations, brain damage or brain trauma were seen as unalterable. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with more grace, depression and anxiety disorders successfully treated, and lifelong character traits changed. Using these marvelous stories to probe mysteries of the body, emotion, love, sex, culture, and education, Dr. Doidge has written an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Self and Emotional Life

Author : Adrian Johnston
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Adrian Johnston and Catherine Malabou defy theoretical humanities' deeply-entrenched resistance to engagements with the life sciences. Rather than treat biology and its branches as hopelessly reductive and politically suspect, they view recent advances in neurobiology and its adjacent scientific fields as providing crucial catalysts to a radical rethinking of subjectivity. Merging three distinct disciplines—European philosophy from Descartes to the present, Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalysis, and affective neuroscience—Johnston and Malabou triangulate the emotional life of affective subjects as conceptualized in philosophy and psychoanalysis with neuroscience. Their experiments yield different outcomes. Johnston finds psychoanalysis and neurobiology have the potential to enrich each other, though affective neuroscience demands a reconsideration of whether affects can be unconscious. Investigating this vexed issue has profound implications for theoretical and practical analysis, as well as philosophical understandings of the emotions. Malabou believes scientific explorations of the brain seriously problematize established notions of affective subjectivity in Continental philosophy and Freudian-Lacanian analysis. She confronts philosophy and psychoanalysis with something neither field has seriously considered: the concept of wonder and the cold, disturbing visage of those who have been affected by disease or injury, such that they are no longer affected emotionally. At stake in this exchange are some of philosophy's most important claims concerning the relationship between the subjective mind and the objective body, the structures and dynamics of the unconscious dimensions of mental life, the role emotion plays in making us human, and the functional differences between philosophy and science.

Radical Embodiment

Author : David H. Nikkel
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"Radical embodiment" refers to an anthropology and an epistemology fundamentally rooted in our bodies as always in correlation with our natural and social worlds. All human rationality, meaning, and value arise not only instrumentally but also substantively from this embodiment in the world. Radical embodiment reacts against Enlightenment mind-body dualism, as well as its monistic offshoots, including the physicalism that reduces everything to component matter-energy at the expense of subjectivity and meaning. It also rejects against certain forms of postmodernism that reinscribe modern dualisms. David H. Nikkel develops the perspective of "radical embodiment" by examining varieties of modern and postmodern theology, and the nature and role of tradition-in terms of linguistic and non-linguistic experience, the religion and science dialogue on the nature of consciousness, and the immanent and transcendent aspects of God.

The Bloomsbury Companion to Leibniz

Author : Brandon C. Look
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The Bloomsbury Companion to Leibniz presents a comprehensive and authoritative introduction to the life, thought and work of one of the great polymaths of the modern world, G.W. Leibniz. This guide enriches the reader's understanding of Leibniz by establishing the philosophies of, and Leibniz's reactions to, his most important philosophical contemporaries from Descartes to Malebranche. While addressing current philosophical research in Leibniz studies such as his metaphysics, logic and theory of free will, a leading team of experts in the field demonstrate that Leibniz's work was wider in scope. Examining new directions in this field they cover a number of Leibniz's concerns outside of philosophy including mathematics, physics, and the life sciences. The Companion concludes by offering analysis of Leibniz's legacy; his impact on further study, particularly on his successor Immanuel Kant, and how he has subsequently been understood. Together with extended biographical sketches and an up-to-date and fully comprehensive bibliography, The Bloomsbury Companion to Leibniz is an extremely valuable study tool for students and scholars interested in Leibniz and the era in which he wrote.

Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion

Author : Ronald L. Numbers
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Ronald Numbers has recruited the leading scholars in this new history of science to puncture the myths, from Galileo's incarceration to Darwin's deathbed conversion to Einstein's belief in a personal God who "didn't play dice with the universe." Each chapter in Galileo Goes to Jail shows how much we have to gain by seeing beyond the myths.

A Philosophical Disease

Author : Carl Elliott
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First published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Bioethics Beyond the Headlines

Author : Albert R. Jonsen
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Bioethics asks fundamental questions. 'Who lives? Who dies? Who decides?' These questions are relevant to us all. Too often, the general public's sole encounter with these weighty questions is through sound bites fed to us by the media—where complex, difficult matters are typically presented in superficial and inaccurate terms. Here, renowned bioethicist Albert R. Jonsen equips readers with the tools and background to navigate the fascinating and complex landscape of bioethics. Bioethics Beyond the Headlines is a primer. You will not find convoluted philosophical arguments in this volume. Rather, you will find an engaging sampling of the key questions in bioethics, including euthanasia, assisted reproduction, cloning and stem cells, neuroscience, access to healthcare, and even research on animals and questions of environmental ethics—areas typically overlooked in general introductions to bioethics. But a 'primer' is not merely a first book—it should also 'prime' the interest of the reader, to prepare the mind for a more expansive venture into these issues. Bioethics Beyond the Headlines intends to do just that.

Innovation Generation

Author : Roberta B. Ness MD, MPH
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Whether you are a student or an established scientist, researcher, or engineer, you can learn to be more innovative. In Innovation Generation, internationally renowned physician and scientist Roberta Ness provides all the tools you need to cast aside your habitual ways of navigating the every-day world and to think "outside the box." Based on an extraordinarily successful program at the University of Texas, this book provides proven techniques to expand your ability to generate original ideas. These tools include analogy, expanding assumptions, pulling questions apart, changing your point of view, reversing your thinking, and getting the most out of multidisciplinary groups, to name a few. Woven into the discussion are engaging stories of famous scientists who found fresh paths to innovation, including groundbreaking primate scientist Jane Goodall, father of lead research Herb Needleman, and physician Ignaz Semmelweis, whose discovery of infection control saved millions. Finally, the book shows how to combine your newly acquired skills in innovative thinking with the normal process of scientific thinking, so that your new abilities are more than playthings. Innovation will power your science.

The Philosophy of John Dewey

Author : R.E. Dewey
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John Dewey ranks as the most influential of America's philosophers. That in fluence stems, in part, from the originality of his mind, the breadth of his in terests, and his capacity to synthesize materials from diverse sources. In addi tion, Dewey was blessed with a long life and the extraordinary energy to express his views in more than 50 books, approximately 750 articles, and at least 200 contributions to encyclopedias. He has made enduring intellectual contributions in all of the traditional fields of philosophy, ranging from studies primarily of interest for philosophers in logic, epistemology, and metaphysics to books and articles of wider appeal in ethics, political philosophy, religion, aesthetics, and education. Given the extent of Dewey's own writings and the many books and articles on his views by critics and defenders, it may be asked why there is a need for any further examination of his philosophy. The need arises because the lapse of time since his death in 1952 now permits a new generation of scholars to approach his work in a different spirit. Dewey is no longer a living partisan of causes, sparking controversy over the issues of the day. He is no longer the advocate of a new point of view which calls into question the basic assump tions of rival philosophical schools and receives an almost predictable criticism from their entrenched positions. His works have now become classics.

What Galileo Saw

Author : Lawrence Lipking
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The Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century has often been called a decisive turning point in human history. It represents, for good or ill, the birth of modern science and modern ways of viewing the world. In What Galileo Saw, Lawrence Lipking offers a new perspective on how to understand what happened then, arguing that artistic imagination and creativity as much as rational thought played a critical role in creating new visions of science and in shaping stories about eye-opening discoveries in cosmology, natural history, engineering, and the life sciences. When Galileo saw the face of the Moon and the moons of Jupiter, Lipking writes, he had to picture a cosmos that could account for them. Kepler thought his geometry could open a window into the mind of God. Francis Bacon's natural history envisioned an order of things that would replace the illusions of language with solid evidence and transform notions of life and death. Descartes designed a hypothetical "Book of Nature" to explain how everything in the universe was constructed. Thomas Browne reconceived the boundaries of truth and error. Robert Hooke, like Leonardo, was both researcher and artist; his schemes illuminate the microscopic and the macrocosmic. And when Isaac Newton imagined nature as a coherent and comprehensive mathematical system, he redefined the goals of science and the meaning of genius. What Galileo Saw bridges the divide between science and art; it brings together Galileo and Milton, Bacon and Shakespeare. Lipking enters the minds and the workshops where the Scientific Revolution was fashioned, drawing on art, literature, and the history of science to reimagine how perceptions about the world and human life could change so drastically, and change forever.

Philosophy this Actual World

Author : Martin Benjamin
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Martin Benjamin bridges the gap between academic philosophy and the questions of educated nonspecialists.

The Problem of Evil in Early Modern Philosophy

Author : Elmar J. Kremer
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Many distinct, controvertial issues are to be found within the labyrinthine twists and turns of the problem of evil. For philosophers of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centures, evil presented a challenge to the consistency and rationality of the world-picture disclosed by the new way of ideas. In dealing with this challenge, however, philosophers were also concerned with their positions in the theological debates about original sin, free will, and justification that were the legacy of the Protestant Reformation to European intellectual life. Emerging from a conference on the problem of evil in the early modern period held at the University of Toronto in 1999, the papers in this collection represent some of the best original work being done today on the theodicies of such early modern philosophers as Leibniz, Suarez, Spinoza, Malebranche, and Pierre Bayle.