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Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (2003)

by Antonio Damasio

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1,1381115,273 (3.62)8
"Here, in a humane work of science, Damasio draws on his innovative research and on his experience with neurological patients to examine how feelings and the emotions that underlie them support the human spirit's greatest creations." "Damasio's new book focuses on what feelings are and reveals the biology of our survival mechanisms. It rediscovers a thinker whose work prefigures modern neuroscience, not only in his emphasis on emotions and feelings, but also in his refusal to separate mind and body. Together, the scientist and the philosopher help us understand what we are made of and what we are here for. Based on laboratory investigations but mindful of society and culture, Looking for Spinoza offers unexpected grounds for optimism about the human condition and is a masterwork of science and writing."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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Includes appendices and index.
  TorontoOratorySPN | Sep 2, 2022 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
Damasio is an articulate, elegant writer and provides a lucid neurological explanation of the role of emotions and feelings. While his interest and exposition of these processes does overlap with Spinoza I didn't get as much out of the philosophy nor had much interest in the biography of Spinoza in chapter 6.
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
This is a well written book and at times almost lyrical (especially the first chapters on Spinoza). Damasio not only explains well the neuroscience of the brain but also the philosophy of Spinoza. The part about neuroscience comes from Damasio's own work and it has to do with how feelings and emotions, that underlie feelings, regulate our bodies to achieve survival and well-being. He also explains how Spinoza had said as much in the Ethics and how he stood alone against Descartes' mind-body duality.

The book was written in 2003. As such, I am not sure if there have been any further developments on this topic that either enhance or diminish Damasio's theory of feelings. But the part about Spinoza is worth reading given the fact that Spinoza is a very well-know, but little-read, philosopher, mainly because of his difficult-to-read writing style. ( )
  Alex1952 | Jun 22, 2016 |
Supposedly about the biological basis of feelings & emotions - but lost me. Dreadful.
Read Aug 2006 ( )
  mbmackay | Dec 6, 2015 |
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Feelings of pain or pleasure or some quality in between are the bedrock of our minds.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Here, in a humane work of science, Damasio draws on his innovative research and on his experience with neurological patients to examine how feelings and the emotions that underlie them support the human spirit's greatest creations." "Damasio's new book focuses on what feelings are and reveals the biology of our survival mechanisms. It rediscovers a thinker whose work prefigures modern neuroscience, not only in his emphasis on emotions and feelings, but also in his refusal to separate mind and body. Together, the scientist and the philosopher help us understand what we are made of and what we are here for. Based on laboratory investigations but mindful of society and culture, Looking for Spinoza offers unexpected grounds for optimism about the human condition and is a masterwork of science and writing."--BOOK JACKET.

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