Soul Machine – The Invention of the Modern Mind (Anglais) Relié – 20 novembre 2015
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
"George Makari presents an electrifying narrative of the intellectual debates that gave rise to the Western conception of the mind."
"...an absorbing story, vast in scope and rich in quirky detail...Soul Machine is an illuminating account of changing ideas of the mind, told with verve and panache by a writer as deeply versed in the history of psychiatry as he is in philosophy and modern European culture."--The Literary Review
--Times Higher Education
"George Makari's brilliant, compendious Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind is essential reading. The story he tells so engagingly is of a vast, polyphonic argument about what it is to be a human being."
--The Los Angeles Book Review
"Makari...humaniz(es) the great thinkers of the past with the vibrant detail of characters in a novel. For all its length, this history of the elusive concept that defines human identity is consistently, startingly immediate."--Publisher's Weekly
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
I was a bit disappointed in the final conclusion as the 21st century has made major contributions to understanding the cosmos. These advances did not come from human brains alone but have depended upon supercomputers to do much of the heavy lifting in terms of analyzing the genome and our universe. 22,000 genes cannot be understood unaided and therefore it is a bit much to expect that previous conversations among brilliant human participants alone will produce convincing conclusions.
Nevertheless this book will enlighten most readers and the author’s mildly humorous asides will only increase your thirst to read more.
For centuries philosophers have debated the imponderable structure of the mind. What is the relationship between the brain and the mind? Is the brain simply the repository for the thinking mind? Is this lump of gray flesh a machine of some sort as it appears to be in most animals? Is the soul physically located in the brain? Can the answers to these questions best be found through philosophy, medicine, or theology? If you’ve pondered some of these questions you should find this book absorbing; not that the imponderables will be revealed, but the author has compiled a fascinating history of the mind and related issues covering a span of about three centuries.
Before The Enlightenment theories of the mind and soul originated with the early Greeks, principally Aristotle, and later with theologians such as Aquinas and Augustine. Then in the mid-17th century Enlightenment philosophers began to question the appropriate relation between religion, medicine, the individual, and the state. Anyone who is intrigued by the theories of philosophers such as Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Spinoza, Hume, Voltaire, and the like will find this account fascinating. Many of their writings are ponderous in the original, but Mr. Makari has summarized them in a highly readable volume. Most of these thinkers wrote copiously on ethics, politics, and the appropriate power of the church and state, but this history focuses on their writing about the mind and soul.
The Soul Machine has a cast of hundreds, many of whom are unfamiliar to most of us, but their contributions enliven the discourse. In addition to philosophers these include physicians, quacks, theologians, charlatans, and other miscellaneous characters such as Marquis de Sade, Franz Mesmer, Oliver Cromwell, and Napoleon. Sir Isaac Newton enters the fray with his theories of a mechanistic universe that responds to predictable and invariable laws. How can this deterministic universe be reconciled with the theories of free will, without which no one can be responsible for his actions?
The book is divided into three parts that are broadly chronological, but zigzag in time and geography, centering on British, French, and German thinking. The participants developed their pet theories and attacked those with competing theories, many of whom could not defend themselves because they were dead. The debates are further hampered by the lack of direct transference of terms between languages and the fact that they all predated Mendel and Darwin, who explained alternate theories that gradually diminished the necessity for God to take an active role in the universe. I highly recommend this book.
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