Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On The Matter Of The Mind

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9780465007646: Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On The Matter Of The Mind

We are on the verge of a revolution in neuroscience as significant as the Galilean revolution in physics or the Darwinian revolution in biology. Nobel laureate Gerald M. Edelman takes issue with the many current cognitive and behavioral approaches to the brain that leave biology out of the picture, and argues that the workings of the brain more closely resemble the living ecology of a jungle than they do the activities of a computer. Some startling conclusions emerge from these ideas: individuality is necessarily at the very center of what it means to have a mind, no creature is born value-free, and no physical theory of the universe can claim to be a ”theory of everything” without including an account of how the brain gives rise to the mind. There is no greater scientific challenge than understanding the brain. Bright Air, Brilliant Fire is a book that provides a window on that understanding.

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About the Author :

Gerald M. Edelman is director of the Neurosciences Institute and chairman of the Department of Neurobiology at the Scripps Research Institute. He received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1972. He is also the author of Bright Air, Brilliant Fire; Tobiology; and The Remembered Present.

From Kirkus Reviews :

``Strenuous'' is how Nobelist (Physiology or Medicine, 1972) Edelman describes the difficulties readers will encounter as they ply their way through yet another texty analysis of what it means to be a mind. Like Stephen M. Kosslyn and Olivier Koenig (Wet Mind, p. 235) and Israel Rosenfield (reviewed below), he likes to use old words in new ways, to coin complex hyphenated forms, and in other ways to multiply the prolixity level. Indeed, the three volumes complement one another. All speak to the need to ground analyses of mental functions in brain biology; all abhor cognitive-science approaches that look to the computer as the model of how the brain works. Edelman's approach is based on his theory of neuronal group selection (``TNGS''), which says that groups of neurons compete in the course of brain development, with surviving groups subject to a second selection in which specific pathways and synapses are strengthened according to whether they yield good or useful outcomes to the organism. Finally, there are broad, reciprocal interactions across neuronal groups that yield numerous brain ``maps.'' These ideas mark an evolution of Edelman's earlier work in immunity and development, in which Darwinian selection also figured. Indeed, evolution is key to Edelman's thinking. He, like Rosenfield, sees the emergence of a primary consciousness (possessed by birds and mammals?) rooted in the present and a high- order consciousness (and self-consciousness) occurring in humans as the result of the development of language. Edelman's many allusions to pivotal thinkers in philosophy and science enrich the historical context of his discussions. In the end, however, even he admits the daunting nature of the challenge. How to deal with logic, art, creativity, motivation, emotions? How to relate the importance of social interaction in development and throughout life? We can not yet, and perhaps never will, eliminate philosophy or psychology from the discussion. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Description du livre The Perseus Books Group, United States, 1993. Paperback. État : New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.We are on the verge of a revolution in neuroscience as significant as the Galilean revolution in physics or the Darwinian revolution in biology. Nobel laureate Gerald M. Edelman takes issue with the many current cognitive and behavioural approaches to the brain that leave biology out of the picture, and argues that the workings of the brain more closely resemble the living ecology of a jungle than they do the activities of a computer. Some startling conclusions emerge from these ideas: individuality is necessarily at the very centre of what it means to have a mind, no creature is born value-free, and no physical theory of the universe can claim to be a theory of everything without including an account of how the brain gives rise to the mind. There is no greater scientific challenge than understanding the brain. Bright Air, Brilliant Fire is a book that provides a window on that understanding. N° de réf. du libraire APC9780465007646

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Description du livre The Perseus Books Group, United States, 1993. Paperback. État : New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. We are on the verge of a revolution in neuroscience as significant as the Galilean revolution in physics or the Darwinian revolution in biology. Nobel laureate Gerald M. Edelman takes issue with the many current cognitive and behavioural approaches to the brain that leave biology out of the picture, and argues that the workings of the brain more closely resemble the living ecology of a jungle than they do the activities of a computer. Some startling conclusions emerge from these ideas: individuality is necessarily at the very centre of what it means to have a mind, no creature is born value-free, and no physical theory of the universe can claim to be a theory of everything without including an account of how the brain gives rise to the mind. There is no greater scientific challenge than understanding the brain. Bright Air, Brilliant Fire is a book that provides a window on that understanding. N° de réf. du libraire APC9780465007646

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