Antonio R. Damasio
A landmark book, situated between philosophy and neuroscience, in which Damasio deals with the challenging question of the origin of civilization.
Being rational is not denying oneself emotions. The brain which thinks, calculates, and makes decisions is not a different entity to the one which laughs, cries, loves, and experiences pleasure and annoyance. The heart has reasons that reason itself is far from being ignorant of. In opposition to the old Cartesian dualism and to all those who wish to reduce the functioning of the human mind to detached calculations worthy of a supercomputer stands the results of the latest neurological research : the absence of emotions and sentiments prevents us from being really rational. Antonio R. Damasio heads the department of neurology at the University of Iowa, in the United States, and teaches at the Institute of Biological Studies of La Jolla.