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Brain, Symbol & Experience: Towards a Neurophenomenology of Human Consciousness Paperback – June 16, 1990

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 403 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (June 16, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877735220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877735229
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #407,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Drawing upon extensive ethnographic and anthropological
research, the authors draw clear connections between
cross cultural reports of transpersonal experiences and
the neurological bases which give rise to them. Especially
compelling is the authors treatment of symbols and their
associated grounding in the cosmology of a culture. This
book comes highly recommended, I only wish the publishers
would reprint a hardback edition!
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Format: Paperback
Laughlin et. al. have done a masterful job in bringing together a broad synthesis of the disciplines necessary to develop a comprehensive and far reaching understanding of the symbolic aspects of consciousness. This book is transformative for the novice and may prove to be quite a suprise for those who are familiar with the literature on the consciousness and the developmental and brain mechanisms that underly it. An excellent melding of development, evolution, neuroscience, physical/cultural anthropology, and psychology (to name only a few of the disciplines covered).
While some of the material may be subject to revisal or correction, the basic aim and structure of the book presents a powerful approach to understanding the nature of human consciousness. In particular the symbolic aspects of cognition.
To balance the "hardwired" picture created by the authors' use of concepts like "neurognostic structures", I recommend the work of Gerald Edelman (Neural Darwinism, Remembered Present, etc...) as a counterpoint. This would help provide a balance relation between genetic and epigenetic aspects. Somewhere between the two sets of ideas a rich scientific and biologically meaningful framework emerges.
If you are interested in the biological nature of consciousness and it's relation to culture, this is a must read book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A brilliant discussion of what it means to be human. To what extend are we unique? To what extent are we extensions of other mammals? In this dissection of how we think and how our uniqueness reflects evolutionary developments, the authors give the reader a deep look into the most central dilemma that all living things face: How do we survive in a world we can never directly apprehend?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting about more than the details in the brain.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an incredible, fascinating book. I can only recommend to read it, and to read all chapters.

INTERDISCIPLINARY

In a world where knowledge is exploding exponentially and by this science is driven into more and more specialized subjects it is a real danger to loose the general view. More than ever we need a sufficient integration of the multitude of specialized aspects into a more general framework enabling understanding of the possible 'whole' of the experiential world. For me the book 'Brain, Symbol & Experience' is in this sense a very rare book. Bringing together disciplines like anthropology, brain sciences, psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive sciences, phenomenology as part of epistemology, as well as transpersonalism, this book reveals in a scientific manner how known phenomena of our daily experienced world can and must be seen in an interrelated, connected way, enabling what we know as 'human culture'.

MAIN TOPIC: CONSCIOUSNESS REVISITED

The main topic of the book is the relationship between brain, consciousness, and symbolic culture. While the subject 'consciousness' since 1990 has gained momentum not only in the brain-sciences but even in engineering ('artificial consciousness') there is still a serious 'gap' between the scientific concept of consciousness and the abounding richness of phenomena available within individual and cultural experience. For the authors is the talk about 'brain' and 'consciousness' a non-dualistic talk about the 'same' thing, looked at from different points of view, and is always embedded within anthropology as a scientific discipline.
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