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Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Realigned my perception, 4 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity (Paperback)
Really opened my eyes to the extent that so much of what passes for science these days, and is taken for granted as being science and acted upon as such, is actually a travesty of science.

The central idea, I suppose, is that human behaviour is far too complex and multicausal to be reduced to any one single influence.

So, when it comes to neuro-reductionism the idea is that, with complex behaviour (and pretty much all behaviour is complex), the brain does not "make" one do anything – there are just too many mediating factors to draw a direct stimulus/response sort of relationship between brain chemistry and/or brain function and the particular behaviour seen to be made manifest by the person or persons involved.

So, reducing complex behaviour to the brain, as a great many neuroscientific studies do (or worse, to "stuff that helped our ancestors survive 100,000 years ago"), is inherently doomed to mischaracterise, and simplify to the point of absurdity, the nature and causes of that complex behaviour.

The only reason I give it 4 and not 5 stars is because the tone is a immature, and it is perhaps not quite charitable enough to some of the better studies in the above domains.
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