Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge

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9780300120394: Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge

Burgeoning advancements in brain science are opening up new perspectives on how we acquire knowledge. Indeed, it is now possible to explore consciousness the very center of human concern by scientific means. In this illuminating book, Dr. Gerald M. Edelman offers a new theory of knowledge based on striking scientific findings about how the brain works. And he addresses the related compelling question: Does the latest research imply that all knowledge can be reduced to scientific description?
Edelman’s brain-based approach to knowledge has rich implications for our understanding of creativity, of the normal and abnormal functioning of the brain, and of the connections among the different ways we have of knowing. While the gulf between science and the humanities and their respective views of the world has seemed enormous in the past, the author shows that their differences can be dissolved by considering their origins in brain functions. He foresees a day when brain-based devices will be conscious, and he reflects on this and other fascinating ideas about how we come to know the world and ourselves.

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From the Author:

A conversation with Dr. Gerald M. Edelman
 
 
Q:  Is there a single message in Second Nature you want to convey?
 
A:  We are about to understand how consciousness arises in the workings of the brain. I argue that while the scientific picture of the world describes the bases for all phenomena including consciousness, there remain arenas, such as ethics and aesthetics, which cannot be fully described by a scientific approach.
 
 
Q:  What are the most significant advances in brain science that you address in this book?
 
A:  We now understand that the brain is not organized like a computer. A better image is provided by considering it to be a biological system whose form and activity involve pattern recognition rather than logic. This implies that each person’s brain is unique in the history of the universe.
 
 
Q:  Will we ever understand how consciousness arises as a result of brain action?
 
Yes, we will. We are on the brink of understanding how consciousness arises as a result of myriad mutual interactions of nerve cells distributed in our cerebral cortex. Integration of these interactions allows us to make enormous numbers of distinctions that are the hallmark of consciousness. Indeed, someday we may be able to make a conscious artifact.
 
A:  Will knowledge and how we acquire it be reduced completely to a scientific description?
 
No. This is a major point of the book. For example, each brain has a developmental and evolutionary history that is largely irreversible and uniquely individual. Furthermore, creative thought, scientific and otherwise, starts with ambiguity, and only in some instances can it proceed to scientific clarity.
 

About the Author:

Gerald M. Edelman, M.D., Ph.D., is director, The Neurosciences Institute; president, Neurosciences Research Foundation; and chairman, Department of Neurobiology, The Scripps Research Institute. He has received many honors and awards, including the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He lives in La Jolla, CA.

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Descripción Yale University Press, United States, 2006. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Burgeoning advancements in brain science are opening up new perspectives on how we acquire knowledge. Indeed, it is now possible to explore consciousness--the very center of human concern--by scientific means. In this illuminating book, Dr. Gerald M. Edelman offers a new theory of knowledge based on striking scientific findings about how the brain works. And he addresses the related compelling question: Does the latest research imply that all knowledge can be reduced to scientific description? Edelman s brain-based approach to knowledge has rich implications for our understanding of creativity, of the normal and abnormal functioning of the brain, and of the connections among the different ways we have of knowing. While the gulf between science and the humanities and their respective views of the world has seemed enormous in the past, the author shows that their differences can be dissolved by considering their origins in brain functions. He foresees a day when brain-based devices will be conscious, and he reflects on this and other fascinating ideas about how we come to know the world and ourselves. Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780300120394

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Descripción Yale University Press, United States, 2006. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Burgeoning advancements in brain science are opening up new perspectives on how we acquire knowledge. Indeed, it is now possible to explore consciousness--the very center of human concern--by scientific means. In this illuminating book, Dr. Gerald M. Edelman offers a new theory of knowledge based on striking scientific findings about how the brain works. And he addresses the related compelling question: Does the latest research imply that all knowledge can be reduced to scientific description? Edelman s brain-based approach to knowledge has rich implications for our understanding of creativity, of the normal and abnormal functioning of the brain, and of the connections among the different ways we have of knowing. While the gulf between science and the humanities and their respective views of the world has seemed enormous in the past, the author shows that their differences can be dissolved by considering their origins in brain functions. He foresees a day when brain-based devices will be conscious, and he reflects on this and other fascinating ideas about how we come to know the world and ourselves. Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780300120394

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