"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.
Damasio's thesis is both philosophical and scientific. The emotions have physical location, indeed they are physical a part of the material construction of the brain. But that is not all: The physical structures of the brain can be transformed by the emotions. In a more classical age when bodies and souls were deemed separate and unequal by God, such a notion would have been attacked as atheism. Now it is simply unnerving. — Margaret Jacob