It begins with the subtitle "The Science of Neuroeconomics" - what does that term even mean? As far as I can tell, Glimcher never defines it. Somewhere along the line he does tell us, as if it's a novel insight, that the purpose of the brain is 'decision making'. Now, if we define decision-making as selection of behavior from multiple options, this is as obvious as saying that the function of the heart is to circulate blood. In studying 'neuroeconomics', Glimcher is really just studying neuroscience - how the brain controls behavior. The term is nothing but fancy repackaging for the business/econ crowd.
If it were just the term, I could easily forgive the oversell. However, Glimcher recounts an entire selective history of neuroscience to convince you that he is part of a group of scientists who are radically changing the way we think about ourselves. Glimcher first introduces Descartes' dualism with which to anchor his book. Various figures are introduced, culminating in Sherrington, who shift neuroscience to a deterministic, reflex-oriented framework (strangely, he never once mentions the name Skinner). While a few early 20th-century neurophysiologists are introduced who challenged these theories of sensory-driven reflex-like behavior, he then skips over half a century of neuroscience and psychology to inform us that certain recent models still have a 'reflex-like' flavor. Ignored is the entire cognitive revolution, and the foundation of cognitive neuroscience. David Marr is the lone exception, introduced as a prophet, apparently the first and only person to propose that the brain should be studied based on its computational goals.
Okay, I should forgive the simplification of history, right? It is set up to aggrandize 'neuroeconomists', but then again to some extent it is deserved - there was a revolution in decision-making research in the 1990s. So perhaps the most galling feature of this book is that Glimcher doesn't even address much of this work. How can you write a book about decision-making in 2003 without reference to reinforcement learning, the basal ganglia, and dopamine? Okay, in fairness it gets one measly page towards the end (as an example of 'neuroeconomics' applications), but the experimental focus is all on the parietal cortex, which Glimcher happened to study.
In addition to being selective and incomplete, Glimcher has a habit of making vague and tenuous connections. For example, he introduces Godel's incompleteness theorem, and makes vague allusions to it being somehow related to nondeterministic behavior. While he appears to be channeling Penrose, he never does pin this point down, so it is unclear exactly what he is saying. Similarly, he likes to make a big deal about 'Bayesian' approaches, while demonstrating only that probabilistic approaches are necessary. He claims that 'classical monism cannot explain nondeterministic behavior', and seems to be claiming that the mere introduction of probability into behavior radically revamps neuroscience (it doesn't - one can imagine reflex-like circuits that are probabilistic). Don't get me wrong, there appears to be a deep connection between many of these concepts - but Glimcher does not make that connection in this book. The book is ultimately far too bold for what it presents.