Splendors and Miseries of the Brain: Love, Creativity, and the Quest for Human Happiness

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Wiley, 2009 - Medical - 234 pages
Splendors and Miseries of the Brain examines the elegant and efficient machinery of the brain, showing that by studying music, art, literature, and love, we can reach important conclusions about how the brain functions.
  • discusses creativity and the search for perfection in the brain
  • examines the power of the unfinished and why it has such a powerful hold on the imagination
  • discusses Platonic concepts in light of the brain
  • shows that aesthetic theories are best understood in terms of the brain
  • discusses the inherited concept of unity-in-love using evidence derived from the world literature of love
  • addresses the role of the synthetic concept in the brain (the synthesis of many experiences) in relation to art, using examples taken from the work of Michelangelo, Cézanne, Balzac, Dante, and others

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Overlooked book that should have more traction. It's a bit dense -- Zeki is a scholar who like all his references to be right at the surface -- but he seems to be onto some really foundational truths about what makes humans act and feel like humans.

Contents

Abstraction
9
The Brain and its Concepts
21
The Distributed KnowledgeAcquiring System
35
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Semir Zeki is a visual neurobiologist in the Department of Cognitive Neurology at University College London. Zeki has pioneered the study of the primate visual brain and furthered research on how affective states are generated by visual inputs. He has published extensively in his field, including the books Inner Vision: an Exploration of Art and the Brain (1999) and A Vision of the Brain (Wiley-Blackwell, 1993), and has also co-authored a book with the late French painter Balthus, entitled La Quête de l'essentiel (1995).

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