Completing the trilogy that began with DESCARTES' ERROR and continued with THE FEELING OF WHAT HAPPENS, eminent neuroscientist Antonio Damasio now focuses the full force of his research and wisdom on the emotions. He shows how joy and sorrow, those most defining of human feelings, are cornerstones of our survival. As he investigates the brain and mind mechanisms behind emotions and feelings, Damasio argues that the processes that evolution has designed to regulate our internal function not only preserve life within ourselves, but they create, motivate, and even shape our greatest cultural accomplishments. If Descartes declared a split between mind and body, Spinoza not only unified mind and body but intuitively understood the role of emotions in human survival and culture. So it is Spinoza who accompanies Damasio as he journeys back to the 17th century in search of the philosopher who, in Damasio's view, prefigured modern neuroscience. Antonio Damasio has always been attracted to the big mysteries of neurobiology; in LOOKING FOR SPINOZA he brings us closer to understanding the delicate interaction between affect, consciousness, and memory, the processes that keep us alive and make life worth living.
"Big claims, well made: it is a rare pleasure to pick up such a rigorous and readable book about scientific advance that is so firmly anchored in philosophical history" * Time Out * "Virtually all the interesting philosophy today is done, not by professional philosophers, but by scientists like Damasio... The map may be incomplete, but thanks to Damasio we do at least know the principal landmarks" * New Humanist * "Damasio's book interweaves lucid and fascinating explanations of neurological findings with historical and philosophical ruminations on Spinoza... Rich and informative" * New Scientist * "There is much in this book to please Damasio's fans. He is a lively and humane writer, and ranges easily across a wide variety of topics" * Independent *