Feeling & Knowing Making Minds Conscious

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2021-10-26
Publisher(s): Pantheon
List Price: $26.00

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From one of the world's leading neuroscientists--a succinct, illuminating, wholly engaging investigation of the phenomenon of consciousness and its relation to life

In recent decades, many philosophers and cognitive scientists have declared the question of consciousness unsolvable, but Antonio Damasio is convinced that recent findings in biology, neuroscience, psychology, and artificial intelligence have given us the necessary tools to solve its mystery. In Feeling & Knowing, Damasio elucidates the myriad aspects of consciousness and presents his analysis and new insights in a way that is faithful to our own intuitive sense of the experience. In forty-six brief chapters Damasio helps us understand the relationship between consciousness and the mind, why being conscious is not the same as either being awake or sensing, the central role of feeling, and why the brain is essential for the development of consciousness. He synthesizes the recent findings of various sciences with the philosophy of consciousness and, most significantly, presents his original research, which has transformed our understanding of the brain and human behavior.

Here is an indispensable guide to understanding the fundamental human capacity for informing and transforming our experience of the world around us and our perception of our place within it.

Author Biography

ANTONIO DAMASIO is the David Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience and professor of psychology, neurology and philosophy at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, where he heads the Brain and Creativity Institute.

Table of Contents

Before We Begin . . . 1

I. On Being . . . 11
In the Beginning Was Not the Word · The Purpose of Life · The Embarrassment of Viruses · Brains and Bodies · Nervous Systems as Afterthoughts of Nature · On Being, Feeling, and Knowing · A Calendar of Life
II. About Minds and the New Art of Representation . . . 33
Intelligence, Minds, and Consciousness · Sensing Is Not the Same as Being Conscious and Does Not Require a Mind · The Contents of Minds · Unminded Intelligence · The Making of Mental Imagery · Turning Neural Activity into Movement and Mind · Fabricating Minds · The Minds of Plants and the Wisdom of Prince Charles · Algorithms in the Kitchen

III. On Feelings . . . 69
The Beginnings of Feeling: Setting the Stage · Affect · Biological Efficiency and the Origin of Feelings · Grounding Feelings I · Grounding Feelings II · Grounding Feelings III · Grounding Feelings IV · Grounding Feelings V · Grounding Feelings VI · Grounding Feelings VII · Homeostatic Feelings in a Sociocultural Setting · But This Feeling Isn’t Purely Mental

IV. On Consciousness and Knowing . . . 111
Why Consciousness? Why Now? · Natural Consciousness · The Problem of Consciousness · What Is Consciousness For? · Mind and Consciousness Are Not Synonymous · Being Conscious Is Not the Same as Being Awake · Consciousness (De)Constructed · Extended Consciousness · With Ease, and You Beside · The Real Wonder of Feelings · The Priority of the World Within · A Gathering of Knowledge · Integration Is Not the Source of Consciousness · Consciousness and Attention · The Substrate Counts · Loss of Consciousness · The Cerebral Cortices and the Brain Stem in the Making of Consciousness · Feeling Machines and Conscious Machines

V. In All Fairness: An Epilogue . . . 185
Notes and References . . . 195
Other Readings . . . 215
Acknowledgments . . . 217
Index . . . 221

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