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No soul, and not special

P.W. Atkins, 21 May 1987

Neuronal Man: The Biology of Mind 
by Jean-Pierre Changeux, translated by Laurence Garey.
Oxford, 348 pp., £17.50, February 1987, 0 19 504226 3
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... consequences and justify social oppression. Let us stay uncomprehending, cry the faint-hearted. Changeux wonders – for the sake of wondering, not because he thinks so – whether it would be best to ‘de-cerebrate’ the social order and hide away our most splendid and dangerous organ. I find it extraordinary that in the Eighties a publisher should still ...
Adventures on the Freedom Road: The French Intellectuals in the 20th Century 
by Bernard-Henri Lévy, translated by Richard Veasey.
Harvill, 434 pp., £20, December 1995, 1 86046 035 6
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The Imaginary Jew 
by Alain Finkielkraut, translated by Kevin O’Neill and David Suchoff.
Nebraska, 230 pp., £23.95, August 1994, 0 8032 1987 3
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The Defeat of the Mind 
by Alain Finkielkraut, translated by Judith Friedlander.
Columbia, 165 pp., $15, May 1996, 0 231 08023 9
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... the historian (Georges Duby), the sociologist (Pierre Bourdieu), not to mention the scientist (Jean-Pierre Changeux) or even the poet (Yves Bonnefoy). Today, the Collège de France is the stuff intellectual dreams are made of. Academia has displaced literature as the home of intellectual legitimacy. Lévy does not even acknowledge this revolution. He ...

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