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In this challenging, exhilarating leap by a disciplined and original mind, Nobel Prize-winner Edelman (medicine, 1972) throws a neurobiological line between two ships--mind and matter--in the stormiest of scientific seas. In his defense of the biological component of mind, Edelman ( The Remembered Pres ent ) disposes of cognitive and behavioral theories of consciousness. To take up the slack, he extends current developments in brain neuroscience well into speculation. He is far too modest in stating that his goal is "to dispel the notion that the mind can be understood in the absence of biology," for the book is a near-kinetic series of critiques and proposals to connect physics and psychology. The "Harmonies" section draws on other disciplines--philosophy, linguistics and psychiatry, among others--to entwine these tendrils of thought into a "unified theory" of mind. Illustrations not seen by PW . Natural Science Book Club selection.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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ISBN-10:  0465007643
ISBN-13:  978-0465007646
Author:  Gerald Edelman
Genre:  Nonfiction
Publisher:  Basic Books
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review by . January 12, 2000
In Bright Air, Brilliant Fire, Gerald M. Edelman accomplishes what seems to be an almost impossible task: He helps the non-scientist to understand the connections between what is known about the mind with what is beginning to be known about the brain. For Edelman, this subject "is the most important one imaginable" because it is charged "with the excitement of being on the threshold of knowing how we know." At the outset, he poses "some commonsense notions":1. Things do not have minds.2. Normal …
Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On The Matter Of The
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