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Brainstorming: Views and Interviews on the Mind [Paperback]

Shaun Gallagher

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Book Description

1 Jun 2008
Shaun Gallagher is a philosopher of mind who has made it his business to study and meet with leading neuroscientists, including Michael Gazzaniga, Marc Jeannerod and Chris Frith. The result is this unique introduction to the study of the mind, with topics ranging over consciousness, emotion, language, movement, free will and moral responsibility. The discussion throughout is illustrated by lengthy extracts from the author s many interviews with his scientist colleagues on the relation between the mind and the brain.

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About the Author

Shaun Gallagher is Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Central Florida and the University of Hertfordshire.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is very well put together. Highly recommended for anyone interested in consciousness. 20 Jan 2010
By Mr. Gray - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Shaun Gallagher has put together a great book here. They greatest feature of Brainstorming is that Gallagher hasn't just thrown a bunch of random quotes together; it is obvious that he took the time to methodically lay out his approach and make his argument.

So what is the argument? Essentially that Computationalism is quite futile in its attempt at explaining most, if any, of the properties of consciousness while Embodied Cognition is more fruitful. To make this argument Gallagher draws from interviews, dialogues and exchanges between various professionals working on the problem of consciousness. They are: Michael Arbib (Action to Language via the Mirror Neuron System), Jonathan Cole (The Invisible Smile: Living without facial expression), Christopher Frith (Making up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World), Michael Gazzaniga (Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique), Marc Jeannerod (Motor Cognition: What Actions Tell to the Self (Oxford Portraits in Science)), Anthony Marcel, Jacques Paillard (Brain and Space (Oxford Science Publications)), Jaak Panksepp (Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions (Series in Affective Science)) and Francisco Varela (On Becoming Aware: A Pragmatics of Experiencing (Advances in Consciousness Research, 43)).

I really enjoyed this book and found it very informative in the ongoing debate about Mind/Body, the "hard problem of consciousness", computationalism, embodied cognition and phenomenology. I would simply add that this book is somewhat technical; I don't imagine that a layman could read this book and be completely satisfied. I believe however, that IF someone wanted to read this book without much background in Philosophy of Mind AND was committed to it, then it wouldn't be too difficult to do a little research and catch-up. This would make a great introductory text to studying Embodied Cognition (which is the view that is presently displacing Computationalism in Philosophy of Mind). Here are a couple of other books that are worthy of looking at in this area: Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension (Philosophy of the Mind) and The Conscious Brain: Facts and Consequences.
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