Spring Books

Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6988.1213 (Published 06 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1213
  1. Sean Spence

    Antonio R Damasio Picador, pounds sterling16.99, pp 312 ISBN 0 330 33927 3

    Documentary makers find the brain sexy at present; surf the television channels and the workings of the psyche are hard to avoid: violence, paraphilias, psychopathy, all are explained.

    Brain books are similarly popular. They come in three varieties. There is the “you're only” school: you're only a cluster of neurons (Francis Crick), processes (Daniel Dennett), microtubules (Sir Roger Penrose) and so on in a reductionist vein. Humans are considered from a pathological/laboratory perspective. Computer metaphors abound (your mind is your software!) and there are boxes and arrows in profusion. Such books …

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