Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain

Front Cover
Little, Brown Book Group, Apr 19, 2012 - Psychology - 160 pages

The prevailing orthodoxy in brain science is that since physical laws govern our physical brains, physical laws therefore govern our behaviour and even our conscious selves. Free will is meaningless, goes the mantra; we live in a 'determined' world.

Not so, argues the renowned neuroscientist Michael S. Gazzaniga as he explains how the mind, 'constrains' the brain just as cars are constrained by the traffic they create. Writing with what Steven Pinker has called 'his trademark wit and lack of pretension,' Gazzaniga ranges across neuroscience, psychology and ethics to show how incorrect it is to blame our brains for our behaviour. Even given the latest insights into the physical mechanisms of the mind, he explains, we are responsible agents who should be held accountable for our actions, because responsibility is found in how people interact, not in brains.

An extraordinary book, combining a light touch with profound implications, Who's in Charge? is a lasting contribution from one of the leading thinkers of our time.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
2
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dreamweaver529 - LibraryThing

An interesting study of the interplay between mind and brain. Predominantly through studying of patents who have had their corpus callosum severed, thus separating the hemispheres of the brain, the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - chaosmogony - LibraryThing

"We are people, not brains." That sums up the thrust of Gazzaniga's argument in "Who's in Charge?", adapted from his 2009 Gifford Lecture, a thorough and accessible look at trends in modern ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2012)

Michael Gazzaniga, one of the world's leading neuroscientists, is a Professor of Psychology and Director for the SAGE Center for the Study of Mind at UC Santa Barbara. He is also the Director of the Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience, President of the Cognitive Neuroscience Institute, and is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics.

Bibliographic information