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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellently written and well-presented thesis, 26 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain (Paperback)
Whatever the final outcome of all the research into the mind/body problem (if there can be one) Damasio's ideas are serious and challenging. A comment on one of these five star reviews suggests that academics are moving against Damasio's views rather than supporting him. However, the comment gives no references so it is hard to take it seriously as yet. I am currently reading Jerry Fodor's LOT2 and the absence of any reference at all to Damasio is striking but so is the mechanistic view of memory that Fodor supports and which Damasio shows to be unfounded. Memory is not a filing cabinet as Fodor and probably many others suppose. The degradation of data that we all experience shows this. Damasio's view is, as I said, challenging. It tells us that only the present moment is real for us and when we "remember" what we actually do is create a new experience from old patterns. We don't, as Fodor states, go to the file marked X and pull out the data. To be fair to Fodor, this may be true of basic simple tokens but certainly not of complex structures like memories. It may not even be true of the basics either. I feel sad if Damasio is not being taken seriously as I think it is because academics are so entrenched in their computer mentality that any theory that suggests that major aspects of our minds don't work in that way is not acceptable. John Searle's severe critique of AI theory has still not been satisfactorily refuted but there are many who do their best to ignore it. I think the same kind of thing is happening with Damasio. I suggest you read this book and other books on Philosophy of Mind and decide for yourself. One thing is clear, we are a long way away from understanding how the mind works and if we don't keep a truly open mind for all the possibilities then we are not going to get anywhere.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Nov 2010 00:30:00 GMT
Earnest Mann says:
I liked your review. FYI - for anyone wishing to check it out, it's "John Searle".

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Oct 2011 19:52:04 BDT
Savita says:
Sorry, I've corrected the spelling mistake now.
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