The Biological Mind: How Brain, Body, And Environment Collaborate To Make Us Who We Are
- Biology, General Science
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We are more than our brains
The way we talk about the brain is often rooted more in mystical conceptions of the soul than in scientific fact. This blinds us to the physical realities of mental function. We ignore bodily influences on our psychology, from chemicals in the blood to bacteria in the gut, and overlook the ways that the environment affects our behavior, via factors varying from sights and sounds to the weather. As a result, we alternately overestimate our capacity for free will or equate brains to inorganic machines like computers. But a brain is neither a soul nor an electrical network: it is a bodily organ, and it cannot be separated from its surroundings. Our selves aren't just inside our heads—they're spread throughout our bodies and beyond.
"Alan Jasanoff's The Biological Mind provides a provocative and accessible neuroscientific defense of the 'extended mind' thesis--the idea that we are much more than our brains, and even the bodies in which they are normally housed. By the conclusion, readers will be left wondering whether Jasanoff's findings suggest something even more radical: that our brains are actually platforms for launching any number of versions of who we really are."—Steve Fuller, Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology at the University of Warwick, and author of Humanity 2.0
"Any book that opens with a historical account of the nutritional merits of eating animal brains and concludes with an imaginary account of the author's brain being removed from his body to take up residence in a vat is certainly worth a read, and Alan Jasanoff's The Biological Mind is precisely that. Thought-provoking and enjoyable, this book will provide readers with a new conception of who they are."—Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic
"The dark side of all the wonderful new neurotechnology at researchers' fingertips is that too many experts are now over-simplifying mental illness, reducing it to mere descriptions of brain physiology. Alan Jasanoff does an outstanding job of bringing much needed nuance, humanity, and compassion to the way we think about mental illness and the brain."—Sally Satel, M.D., Lecturer in Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine
About the Author
Alan Jasanoff is the award-winning director of the MIT Center for Neurobiological Engineering. He lives near Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Additional Book Details
|Release Date:||March 13, 2018|