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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not an easy read, but worth the effort
Mike Vanier's experience with Edelman's prose gave the typical bioassay result: its hard to read Edelman's books. I often try to imagine the state of mind of people in 1875 who tried to wade through Darwin's "Origin of Species" or someone who came across the work of Gregor Mendel in the 1890's. Unfortunately for the Science of Mind, Mike is just the kind of...
Published on 14 Oct 1998

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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deliberately obfuscated nonsense.
I got about one-third of the way through this book, and then just couldn't continue. This is without a doubt the worst science book I've ever (tried to) read. Edelman goes out of his way to use unnecessarily long, ponderous phrases to describe simple concepts. This is presumably meant to impress you, but personally it makes me wonder what the author is trying to...
Published on 27 Aug 1998


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not an easy read, but worth the effort, 14 Oct 1998
By A Customer
Mike Vanier's experience with Edelman's prose gave the typical bioassay result: its hard to read Edelman's books. I often try to imagine the state of mind of people in 1875 who tried to wade through Darwin's "Origin of Species" or someone who came across the work of Gregor Mendel in the 1890's. Unfortunately for the Science of Mind, Mike is just the kind of person Edelman might have hoped to be able to reach. Well, Mike, did you read right through the Bible (or substitute "Your First Calculus Textbook" for "Bible") the first time you picked it up? There really is a forest in "Neural Darwinism" once you get past the trees.
The claim "his ideas are neither new, nor original, nor correct" is one of the standard put-downs of the academic world. Anyone who works on non-trivial scientific issues and is intelectually honest will admit that his work in based on ideas taken from others and that his work is incomplete and contains errors. Edelman makes these admissions. Edelman's ideas about how brains can learn and function to produce what we experience as minds are positive contributions to science and worth getting to know.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deliberately obfuscated nonsense., 27 Aug 1998
By A Customer
I got about one-third of the way through this book, and then just couldn't continue. This is without a doubt the worst science book I've ever (tried to) read. Edelman goes out of his way to use unnecessarily long, ponderous phrases to describe simple concepts. This is presumably meant to impress you, but personally it makes me wonder what the author is trying to hide. How about this: that his ideas are neither new, nor original, nor correct.
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Neural Darwinism: Theory of Neuronal Group Selection (Oxford paperbacks)
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