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The Mind: Leading Scientists Explore the Brain, Memory, Personality, and Happiness (Best of Edge Series) Original Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0062025845
ISBN-10: 0062025848
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“If you want a quick introduction to some of the smartest and most interesting thinkers around—read this book.” (Scientific American)

From the Back Cover

Who am “I”?
How is happiness achieved?
What is the key to memory?
How do babies become adults?
Is personality determined?
What function do emotions serve?
Are we hardwired to be moral?

The mind is a riddle that has vexed philosophers, psychologists, biologists, and artists for thousands of years. In this invaluable volume, John Brockman, editor and publisher of Edge, gathers the world’s most influential scientists and thinkers to present their deepest thoughts and cutting-edge theories in short, accessible essays about the essential aspects of human consciousness and the complex workings of the brain.

Contributors and topics include

Steven Pinker on how the human brain works • Martin Seligman on happiness and what it means to live a good life • Philip Zimbardo on the impact of environment on personality • V. S. Ramachandran on the question of self—who “you” are • Simon Baron-Cohen on the innate differences between boys and girls • George Lakoff on the role of the body and brain on different types of reasoning • Alison Gopnik on why human children are the best learning machines in the universe • Jonathan Haidt on the connection between emotions, morality, and religious belief

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Product Details

  • Series: Best of Edge Series
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062025848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062025845
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyable selection of essays by a variety of scientists. The volume moves back forth between my car and bedside nightstand. I chose to not take an ebook version for my Kindle and am glad I did. The essays are in readable chunks with often dense material on recent research. The researchers include material on themselves and how they proceeded with their research, questions they raised, doubts confronted but not always resolved, and frequent suggestions on where further research should go.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent collection of articles. I'm usually wary of "popular" books, often guilty of trivializing the issues and turning them into a mess of cliches. This collection strikes the right balance (in my very subjective opinion) between scientific rigor (and healthy skepticism) and the need to bring the information out to those who don't make their living in research labs.

Criticism:

1) the inclusion of the Sulloway's "Born to Rebel", without even hinting that this work is highly controversial: [...]

2) the general consensus (passed as a "fact") the science can now solve problems that have occupied philosophers for centuries. This claim is also very controversial (see the excellent critique by Peter Hacker Neuroscience and Philosophy: Brain, Mind, and Language)

The title says "leading scientists" so it delivers what it promises, but some more philosophical point of view would have been interesting. These issues can be very complex and science is not a "assumption neutral" enterprise.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found each of the first seventeen chapters of this book to be quite interesting and thought provoking. In some instances the authors introduced me to ideas new to me; in other instances they reminded me of notable facts that I had learned of previously but forgotten, or provided convincing explanations for previous observations. Chapter eighteen, on the other hand, was significantly disappointing. Many of the alleged facts that it claims to report were thoroughly contrary to a great deal of my personal observations and experience, the point of view for which the author preached (sic) was stale and shopworn, his attacks on some of the better minds of our time were distasteful, the questions that he posed were inadequately framed, and the conclusions arrived at were unconvincing. To me it has the smell of an attempt to ingratiate someone into the good graces of established social censors with an eye to the associated financial rewards. On the whole, the chapter would seem somewhat less out of place in a collection of rightest political campaign speeches than in its current context.
The entirety of the rest of the book, however, was good enough to make me entirely satisfied with my purchase.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
thought provoking in every essay. made me re-think my conceptions of many things related to the mind. love all the edge.org's publications.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome book, teaches allot about obviously the brain, on how it functions but mainly is a good book to start finding out about intelligence and how we perceive it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A few really bad essays.
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