Joy, Sorrow and the Feeling Brain
The eminent neuroscientist, explores the science of human emotion and what the great Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza can teach of how and why we feel.
Completing the trilogy that began with DESCARTES' ERROR and continued with THE FEELING OF WHAT HAPPENS, eminent neuroscientist Antonio Damasio now focuses the full force of his research and wisdom on the emotions. He shows how joy and sorrow, those most defining of human feelings, are cornerstones of our survival. As he investigates the brain and mind mechanisms behind emotions and feelings, Damasio argues that the processes that evolution has designed to regulate our internal function not only preserve life within ourselves, but they create, motivate, and even shape our greatest cultural accomplishments. If Descartes declared a split between mind and body, Spinoza not only unified mind and body but intuitively understood the role of emotions in human survival and culture. So it is Spinoza who accompanies Damasio as he journeys back to the 17th century in search of the philosopher who, in Damasio's view, prefigured modern neuroscience. Antonio Damasio has always been attracted to the big mysteries of neurobiology; in LOOKING FOR SPINOZA he brings us closer to understanding the delicate interaction between affect, consciousness, and memory, the processes that keep us alive and make life worth living.