Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (Anglais) Broché – 1 décembre 2003
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
"Clear, accessible and at times eloquent . . . Nothing less than a new vision of the human soul."-San Francisco Chronicle
"Exceptionally engaging and profoundly gratifying."-Nature
Présentation de l'éditeur
The last in a trilogy of books that investigates the philosophical and scientific foundations of human life
Joy, sorrow, jealousy, and awe—these and other feelings are the stuff of our daily lives. In the seventeenth century, the philosopher Spinoza devoted much of his life's work examining how these emotions supported human survival, yet hundreds of years later the biological roots of what we feel remain a mystery. Leading neuroscientist Antonio Damasio—whose earlier books explore rational behavior and the notion of the self—rediscovers a man whose work ran counter to all the thinking of his day, pairing Spinoza's insights with his own innovative scientific research to help us understand what we're made of, and what we're here for.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
This transition in historical thinking has some interesting clinical applications. By considering feeling as a result of emotions experienced in response to environmental stimuli we can break down client's experience into two categories; what is happening to them and what they experience as a result of this. Similar ideas are put forth in Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT) that attempt to separate and understand how thoughts can lead to emotions. Newer waves of CBT such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy advance this idea further by acknowledging that we can be observers of our own experience and choose the level at which we will either attend to or feel the stimulus we receive. Damasio's differentiation of emotion and feeling can be applied in a similar way to a client who has been the victim of trauma, or suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This client may have a natural emotional reaction of fear to certain environments or stimulus that are similar to the one where the trauma was initiated. The client may have learned from their prior trauma that following their natural fear response they are overcome with shame or guilt. Working with this client you can begin to separate their shame from their fear response and bring awareness to them that their feelings are a result of an external emotional reaction and not the result of internal unchangeable characteristics. This distancing of the emotion and the feeling can be helpful as the client and therapist work to learn and develop a new feeling to utilize in response to same emotional reaction (fear). This is beneficial for the client as they may realistically be unable to avoid the stimulus causing their fear response.
Damasio blends his ideas of philosophy and neurobiology in a manner that is accessible to more advanced readers who have a basic understanding of neurobiological and philosophical concepts. Damasio's conversational style of writing was a refreshing break from more dense texts, although the more relaxed writing style did not make the more philosophical and advanced ideas easier to grasp. Given the strong philosophical bent of Damasio's writings, discussion on the concept of consciousness itself was mysteriously absent. Although this is currently may be out of the reach of current neuroscience, it would have been nice to cut off some of the more rambling chapters to include one dedicated the direction of future research beyond the current cutting edge. Overall, this book was a welcome break from the monotonous other cognition texts and a breath of fresh air for those looking to expand their integration of philosophy and science. After reading this book, I may not be reading as clearly as the astronomer on the cover in the daylight, but perhaps I have managed to light a few more candles.
As a therapist, I have found that negative feelings are 99% of what brings a client into therapy and Damasio's manuscript is highly relevant in demonstrating a need to identify where certain feelings are located so that they can be treated effectively. He articulates this need as he describes how feelings are manipulated to great efforts with substances, sexual activity, and other hedonistic practices. We want to increase pleasure and decrease pain and Damasio advocates for Spinoza's view that the best way to combat a negative feeling is to overpower it with a positive feeling based in reason. I see the relationship of this philosophy in clinical practice with cognitive behavioral techniques and the power of changing your thoughts.
Since we go to such great lengths to escape our emotions, I find this material highly relevant to clinical practice because if we can alter our emotions through neuromapping breakthroughs, then maybe those with long-term depression or anxiety or psychosis for that matter, do not have to endure the pain and stigma of psychopharmacological treatments where the side-effects can be life altering. Most people spend most of their life ignoring their feelings when we need to realize that in accordance with Damasio's view that they can be seen as "revelations of the state of life within the person" which is direct line with Rogerian and client-centered therapy.
Damasio did an excellent job exploring the biological basis of feelings and conveyed the material in a thought provoking and comprehensive manner. He uses case studies, experimental results, and his own experiences in bring Spinoza's work to life. Well done.