When a rich English woman, a grouchy scientist, a bonobo monkey and a young man interested in religion meet together in a castle of Provence, what do they do? They talk. And what do they talk about? About the origins of life, the appearance of language, about the secrets of memory, or about the emergence of desire. Subtle and witty, J.-D. Vincent, a neurobiologist, author of The Biology of Passions, offers us here a defense and an illustration of material reason.
What is it that transforms a small piece of matter into an animated being? What is it that gives to certain physical structures the enigmatic privilege of feeling sensations and having experiences? Conscience. But what do we know about conscience? Daniel C. Dennet proposes a new explicative model founded on the modern revelations of psychology, neurology, and artificial intelligence. Daniel C. Dennett directs the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He is one of the leaders in the philosophy of the spirit in the United States.
What are the mechanics of evolution? What is the force behind diversity and the proliferation of the species? Why does nature never stop inventing new forms of life? What is the effect of great catastrophes on the evolution of the species? What is the real effect of human action on nature? A professor at Harvard University, Edward O. Wilson is one of the most important theoricians of biological evolution. He is also one of the most ardent lobbyists for the preservation of nature.
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