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Exit Cogito

Jonathan Rée: Looking for Spinoza, 22 January 2004

Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow and the Feeling Brain 
by Antonio Damasio.
Heinemann, 355 pp., £20, May 2003, 0 434 00787 0
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... Antonio Damasio’s two previous books, Descartes’s Error and The Feeling of What Happens, appealed not only to scientists. The citations, prizes and honours, not to mention the author’s photograph, reveal that Damasio, one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, is also a person of deep sensitivity and broad cosmopolitan culture ...

A Knife at the Throat

Christopher Tayler: Meticulously modelled, 3 March 2005

by Ian McEwan.
Cape, 280 pp., £17.99, February 2005, 0 224 07299 4
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... and the materialist theories of consciousness propounded by such writers as Steven Pinker and Antonio Damasio. He also has a cautious faith in the ennobling potential of literature and the redemptive capacities of romantic love. Enduring Love sets the two kinds of thinking against one another, but his recent novels are more concerned with ...

Get knitting

Ian Hacking: Birth and Death of the Brain, 18 August 2005

The 21st-Century Brain: Explaining, Mending and Manipulating the Mind 
by Steven Rose.
Cape, 344 pp., £20, March 2005, 0 224 06254 9
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... have nothing much to say about consciousness as present awareness. For example, he mentions Antonio Damasio’s proposal that consciousness evolved very late in animal history, and depends on specific structures in the brain. I have reservations about Damasio’s enthusiasms, but he has an important idea. It ...

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