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The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity (edition 2012)

by Bruce Hood

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1131106,831 (3.52)9
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Title:The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity
Authors:Bruce Hood
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (2012), Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:consciousness, free will, neuroscience, self

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The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity by Bruce Hood

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What is the "Self"? Eastern philosophy give us a spiritual outlook. But Behavioural Neurosciences gives us a pinpointed answer. The author has endowed the book wuth the superpowers of cutting edge modern day research to understand our "Self". Though a part of the presented research data is already in works of other authors such as V. S. Ramachandran and Dan Ariely, this book has stuck to what has been promised.

Do we really know who we are? Do we really think we know everything about our behaviour? This book begins to find a track to start thinking on these lines. My behaviour may consciously never be the same again.... ( )
  Abhinavkadambi | Mar 20, 2014 |
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One of the strangest experiences we can have is to hold a human brain in our hands for the first time.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 019989759X, Hardcover)

Most of us believe that we are an independent, coherent self--an individual inside our head who thinks, watches, wonders, dreams, and makes plans for the future. This sense of our self may seem incredibly real but a wealth of recent scientific evidence reveals that it is not what it seems--it is all an illusion.

In The Self Illusion, Bruce Hood reveals how the self emerges during childhood and how the architecture of the developing brain enables us to become social animals dependent on each other. Humans spend proportionally the greatest amount of time in childhood compared to any other animal. It's not only to learn from others, Hood notes, but also to learn to become like others. We learn to become our self. Even as adults we are continually developing and elaborating this story, learning to become different selves in different situations--the work self, the home self, the parent self. Moreover, Hood shows that this already fluid process--the construction of self--has dramatically changed in recent years. Social networking activities--such as blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter--are fast becoming socialization on steroids. The speed and ease at which we can form alliances and relationships are outstripping the same selection processes that shaped our self prior to the internet era. Things will never be the same again in the online social world. Hood offers our first glimpse into this unchartered territory.

Who we are is, in short, a story of our self--a narrative that our brain creates. Like the science fiction movie, we are living in a matrix that is our mind. But Hood concludes that though the self is an illusion, it is an illusion we must continue to embrace to live happily in human society.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:00 -0400)

Superstitious habits are common. Do you ever cross your fingers, knock on wood, avoid walking under ladders, or step around black cats? Sentimental value often supersedes material worth. If someone offered to replace your childhood teddy bear or wedding ring with a brand new, exact replica, would you do it?… (more)

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