This is an excellent book - very readable, concise but clear and informative. It is a compelling read. I recommend it to anyone with a broad range of interests in philosophy, psychology and understanding the mind.
This book is unusual in bringing together thoughts, evidence and research from different disciplines, mostly philosophy, neuroscience and psychology to address some of the most fundamental questions of human existence. After his introduction to the human animal, Precht turns his mind to moral issues such as euthanasia, abortion, reproductive cloning and the right to eat animals, before addressing such issues such as the existence of god, the meaning of life, and how to be happy. Great thinkers and scientists are introduced and explained in an accessible and engaging way, and he stops it getting to heavy by his liberal use of references to popular culture (e.g. Star Trek & Monty Python). You have to concentrate, but it is always readable, and I found it shifted my thinking on some key attitudes in my life. And for a book, you can't say better than that. Highly recommended.
Who Am I? And if so, How many? is translated here from it's original German. It has however, lost nothing of the flair of the original. What follows is a run-down from the biological structures of the brain, the nascence of neurology and the basic thought processes to the evolution of philosophy. Precht begins most sections with a history lesson, detailing the genesis of the characters at hand, whether that is Kant, Freud or even Nietzsche, he draws on notable figures throughout history that have shaped perception of self.
The important questions the book asks are primarily to do with morality and the argument about it's innateness within us. Whether we are born with it or learn it. Whether we choose to follow it, or choose to deviate from it. Resultantly, this book causes a fair degree of introspection as it uses time-worn philosophical questions to stimulate the reader. Ultimately, I found this a page-turner, despite the slightly heavy intellectual-weight this book carries. Recommended for a thorough and thought-provoking look at your mind.