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Diane Ackerman's An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain PDF

By Diane Ackerman

ISBN-10: 1439125082

ISBN-13: 9781439125083

The such a lot bold and enlightening paintings up to now from the bestselling writer of A ordinary heritage of the Senses, An Alchemy of Mind combines an artist's eye with a scientist's erudition to light up, as by no means ahead of, the magic and mysteries of the human mind.

Long precious through literary readers for her unusual skill to bridge the space among artwork and technological know-how, celebrated scholar-artist Diane Ackerman returns with the booklet she was once born to jot down. Her marvelous new paintings, An Alchemy of Mind, deals an extraordinary exploration and party of the psychological fantasia during which we spend our days -- and does for the human brain what the bestselling A common background of the Senses did for the actual senses.

Bringing a invaluable girl standpoint to the subject, Diane Ackerman discusses the technological know-how of the mind as simply she will: with attractive, speedy language and imagery that paint an strangely lucid and colourful photo for the reader. and likewise to explaining reminiscence, notion, emotion, desires, and language acquisition, she stories at the most up-to-date discoveries in neuroscience and addresses arguable topics just like the results of trauma and male as opposed to lady brains. In prose that isn't easily obtainable but in addition appealing and electrical, Ackerman distills the difficult, aim truths of technological know-how on the way to yield brilliant, seriously anecdotal factors a few diversity of existential questions relating to attention, human proposal, reminiscence, and the character of id.

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Additional resources for An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain

Example text

After that discovery, the techniques of chemistry Epistemological Constraints on Consilience could be used to describe (admittedly with some modification) the biological laws of heredity. The field now called biochemistry was born. During this same period, biologists and mathematicians also began to take aim at psychology in yet another reductive step. ” It was studies such as this one that gave birth to the field we now call neuroscience. These empirical insights suggested to many that the reductionist program of the logical positivists was inescapable.

Epistemological Constraints on Consilience The most visible of these scholarly groups have been the neuroeconomists who have sought to relate economics, psychology, and neuroscience. While this effort to describe the neurobiological basis of human decision making has been immensely popular with the lay press, neuroeconomics has received intense criticism from many established scholars in each of its parent disciplines. Many of these critiques arise from a misunderstanding of the theory of knowledge on the part of both the supporters and detractors of neuroeconomics.

That is Pascal’s detailed model of how choice should be accomplished. Third, and perhaps most importantly, Pascal’s theory tells us what it means for a choice to be correct or incorrect. If a human chooser selects an option that is not the element with the highest expected value on his menu of choices, he has made an error. Pascal even shows how to correct that man’s error. Take a famous example that interested him (and his colleagues Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole [1662]). A woman is frightened of death by lightning but not frightened of death by disease.

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An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain by Diane Ackerman

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