Linking the process of rational decision making to emotions, an award-winning scientist who has done extensive research with brain-damaged patients notes the dependence of thought processes on feelings and the body's survival-oriented regulators. 50,000 first printing.
Scientists are rapidly mapping the chemical and physical pathways that constitute biological systems, making the complexity of processes such as inheritance, development, evolution, and even the origin of life increasingly tractable. Through genetics and neuroscience, biological understanding is now being extended deeply into the human sciences and has begun to transform our understanding of behavior, mind, culture, and values. The idea of a science-driven unity of knowledge has reemerged in several forms in both reductionist and nonreductionist frameworks. This volume examines (...) some of the extraordinary empirical discoveries that have caused a revival of this idea and presents theories from thinkers in a variety of disciplines, including E. O. Wilson, Eric Kandel, and Elaine Scarry. (shrink)
In this article we present a conjecture regarding the biology of subjectivity and feeling, based on biophysical and phenomenological considerations. We propose that feeling, as a subjective phenomenon, would come to life as a process of resistance to variance hypothesized to occur during the unfolding of cognition and behaviours in the wakeful and emoting individual. After showing how the notion of affect, when considered from a biological standpoint, suggests an underlying process of resistance to variance, we discuss how vigilance, emotional (...) arousal and attentional behaviours reflect a dynamics of controlled over-excitation related to cognitive integration and control. This can be described as a form of resistance to variance. We discuss how such a dynamics objectively creates an internal state of tension and affectedness in the system that could be associated with subjective states. Such a dynamics is shaped by the system's need to cope with its own inertia, to engage in intentional behaviours, attend, preserve coherence, grapple with divergent cognitive, emotional and motivational tendencies, and delayed auto-perturbations of the brain-body system. More generally, it is related to the need to respect the hierarchy of the various influences which affect its internal dynamics and organization. (shrink)
Recent investigations have explored how large-scale systems in the brain operate in the processes of retrieving knowledge for words and concepts. Much of the crucial evidence derives from lesion studies, because word retrieval and concept retrieval can be clearly dissociated in brain-damaged individuals. We discuss these findings from the perspective of our neurobiological framework, which is cited in Pulvermüller's target article.
Neurological diseases, particularly in the context of aging, have serious impacts on quality of life and can negatively affect bone health. The brain-bone axis is critically important for skeletal metabolism, sensory innervation, and endocrine cross-talk between these organs. This review discusses current evidence for the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which various neurological disease categories, including autoimmune, developmental, dementia-related, movement, neuromuscular, stroke, trauma, and psychological, impart changes in bone homeostasis and mass, as well as fracture risk. Likewise, how bone may (...) affect neurological function is discussed. Gaining a better understanding of brain-bone interactions, particularly in patients with underlying neurological disorders, may lead to development of novel therapies and discovery of shared risk factors, as well as highlight the need for broad, whole-health clinical approaches toward treatment. (shrink)
Antonio R. Damasio , The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness . This is clearly a must-read book for anyone wanting a neurologist's perspective on one of the greatest of the unsolved mysteries, human consciousness and the ways in which it exceeds that of the other apes. By the author of Descartes' Error.
This book is a systematic analysis of John R. Searle’s philosophy of mind. Searle’s view of mind, as a set of subjective and biologically embodied processes, can account for our being part of nature qua mindful beings. This model finds support in neuroscience and offers reliable solutions to the problems of consciousness, mental causation, and the self. “The main theme of Vicari’s book is the exposition and explanation of my various writings about the mind. I must say that he has (...) understood me and explained my views better than any other author I have read. Not content merely to present the philosophical arguments, he provides a powerful and extensive discussion of current neurobiological research, especially the work of Gerald M. Edelman, Giulio Tononi, and AntonioDamasio. Vicari sees how my work is related to, and supportive of, the best current work in neurobiology.”John R. Searle. (shrink)
Arguments over whether emotions and moods are feelings have demonstrated confusion over the concept of a feeling and, in particular, what it is that feelings can—and cannot—do. I argue that the causal and explanatory roles we assign emotions and moods in our theories are inconsistent with their being feelings. Sidestepping debates over the natures of emotions and moods I frame my arguments primarily in terms of what it is emotions, moods and feelings do. I provide an analysis that clarifies the (...) role feelings can play in our psychology that is consistent with current psychological and neurological data. (shrink)
The publication of this book is an event in the making. All over the world scientists, psychologists, and philosophers are waiting to read AntonioDamasio's new theory of the nature of consciousness and the construction of the self. A renowned and revered scientist and clinician, Damasio has spent decades following amnesiacs down hospital corridors, waiting for comatose patients to awaken, and devising ingenious research using PET scans to piece together the great puzzle of consciousness. In his bestselling (...) Descartes' Error, Damasio revealed the critical importance of emotion in the making of reason. Building on this foundation, he now shows how consciousness is created. Consciousness is the feeling of what happens-our mind noticing the body's reaction to the world and responding to that experience. Without our bodies there can be no consciousness, which is at heart a mechanism for survival that engages body, emotion, and mind in the glorious spiral of human life. A hymn to the possibilities of human existence, a magnificent work of ingenious science, a gorgeously written book, The Feeling of What Happens is already being hailed as a classic. (shrink)
In risposta all’ipotesi di estendere la categoria del falso valutativo alle motivazioni di una sentenza, l’articolo tenta una ricostruzione critica della progressiva apertura del falso intellettuale ad atti dispositivi e giudizi tecnici, ponendone in evidenza alcune aporie e proponendo specifici temperamenti. Tanto la teoria dei fatti psichici, quanto quella delle attestazioni implicite e del vero legale, nella loro congiunta sovrapposizione alla struttura della fattispecie penale, possono scadere in una violazione del divieto di analogia in materia penale. Il caso da cui (...) parte l’analisi attiene una procedura di selezione per la chiamata di professore universitario di prima fascia e la sentenza del T.A.R. che decide sul ricorso di un candidato. Falsity of the judicial decision. Implicit statements, legal truth and technical judgments. In response to the hypothesis of extending the category of "evaluative" falsehood to the motivations of a judicial decision, the paper attempts a critical reconstruction of the progressive evolution of these crimes in matter of acts of will and technical judgments, highlighting some aporias and proposing some corrections. Both the theory of psychic facts, as well as the theory of implicit attestations and the legal truth, in their joint action, can violate the prohibition of analogical interpretation in criminal matters. The controversial case from which the analysis starts concerns a public competition for a university professorship and the T.A.R.’s judgment that decides on a candidate's appeal. (shrink)
This article integrates previously missing components of government quality into the governance-piracy nexus in exploring governance mechanisms by which global obligations for the treatment of IPRs are effectively transmitted from international to the national level in the battle against piracy. It assesses the best governance tools in the fight against piracy and upholding of intellectual property rights (IPRs). The instrumentality of IPR laws (treaties) in tackling piracy through good governance mechanisms is also examined. Findings demonstrate that: (1) while all governance (...) tools under consideration significantly decrease the incidence of piracy, corruption-control is the most effective weapon; (2) but for voice and accountability, political stability and democracy, IPR laws (treaties) are instrumental in tackling piracy through government quality dynamics of rule of law, regulation quality, government effectiveness, corruption-control, and press freedom. Hence, the need for a policy approach most conducive to expanding development is to implement an integrated system of both IPRs and corollary good governance policies. Moreover, our findings support the relevance of good governance measures in developing countries wishing to complement their emerging IPR regimes. (shrink)
Democracy has been a flawed hegemony since the fall of communism. Its flexibility, its commitment to equality of representation, and its recognition of the legitimacy of opposition politics are all positive features for political institutions. But democracy has many deficiencies: it is all too easily held hostage by powerful interests; it often fails to advance social justice; and it does not cope well with a number of features of the political landscape, such as political identities, boundary disputes, and environmental crises. (...) Although democracy is valuable it fits uneasily with other political values and is in many respects less than equal to the demands it confronts. In this volume prominent political theorists and social scientists present original discussions of such central issues. Democracy's Values deals with the nature and value of democracy, particularly the tensions between it and such goods as justice, equality, efficiency, and freedom. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions regarding the status of emotion as a scientific domain usually get framed in terms of the question whether emotion is a natural kind. That approach to the issues is wrongheaded for two reasons. First, it has led to an intractable philosophical impasse that ultimately misconstrues the character of the relevant debate in emotion science. Second, and most important, it entirely ignores valence, a central feature of emotion experience, and probably the most promising criterion for demarcating emotion from cognition (...) and other related domains. An alternate philosophical hypothesis for addressing the issues is pro- posed. It is that emotion is a naturally occurring valenced phenomenon that is.. (shrink)