Coming to Mind: The Soul and Its Body by Lenn E. Goodman, D. Gregory Caramenico

By Lenn E. Goodman, D. Gregory Caramenico

How should still we converse of our bodies and souls? In Coming to brain, Lenn E. Goodman and D. Gregory Caramenico choose their approach during the minefields of materialist reductionism to provide the soul now not because the brain’s rival yet as its companion. What acts, they argue, is what's actual. The soul isn't really an airy wisp yet a full of life topic, emergent from the physique yet inadequately defined in its phrases.

Rooted in many of the richest philosophical and highbrow traditions of Western and japanese philosophy, psychology, literature, and the humanities and the newest findings of cognitive psychology and mind science—Coming to Mind is a sophisticated manifesto of a brand new humanism and a very good contribution to our figuring out of the human individual. Drawing on new and classical understandings of belief, recognition, reminiscence, supplier, and creativity, Goodman and Caramenico body a powerful argument for a dynamic and built-in self able to language, idea, discovery, worrying, and love.

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Human brains are vastly more complex and history-prone than snowflakes. Each holds some 100 billion neurons and a million billion synapses. Ever growing and changing, strengthened or diminished, these links within each human brain far outnumber the elementary particles in the universe. Some are hardwired. But many dendrite tendrils are guided in their growth by microfilaments responsive to chemical stimuli, some of them externally prompted. Visual stimuli, for example, promote the growth of new dendritic spines in a frog’s optical tectum.

The rise of life and mind, Morgan argued, clearly bespeak emergence—not vitalism, he insisted. ”29 Emergence was humbler, perhaps, in Mill. But the idea itself has proved emergent, branching out, much as legal or constitutional rules do when they take directions unanticipated by their framers. ”30 Mill’s argument foreshadows a parting of the ways about emergence: Is it just that we cannot predict how things will go? Or is there emergence in the nature of things? Is predictability the only problem here?

So is the mind. 138–46). Placing the mind in charge, Lucretius even calls its cue numen, the name for Zeus’s nod. Minds may savor a delight while the rest of the body holds still. But powerful emotions show that even this islet of tranquility is bodily. For “when the mind is shaken by some fear, we see the whole soul shudder with it in every member. Sweat and pallor flood the body, tongue stilled, voice checked, eyes glazed, ears ringing, limbs unhinged. Often we see men felled by mental terror.

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