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Antonio R. Damasio

The Feeling of What Happens

What makes us human beings? Is it the gift of consciousness?
Antonio Damasio proposes a new theory that offers a biological explanation for the feeling of consciousness of the self.
How does the brain create mental structures that enable us to see images? How does it create the feeling of self, which we experience when we think of something, perceive an object, or imagine something?
The consciousness of self does not exist arbitrarily. Its existence can be explained — if not completely demonstrated. We can become familiar with it, and we now know what we are and why — this in itself is a revolution.

“Damasio’s book uncovers — for the first time — the neurobiological foundations of the self.” Jean-Pierre Changeux

“Antonio Damasio is probably the world’s most outstanding neurologist in brain function.” David Hubel, Nobel Prize winner

“This is an extraordinary book. I know of nothing like it.” Jerome Kagan

“This book is marvellous — a major work of meaning and importance. It is an amazing marriage of poetic intuition and precise investigation.” Peter Brook


Antonio R. Damasio heads the department of neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, in the United States, and teaches at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California. He is the author of Descartes’ Error.