Antonio Damasio

“Descartes’ famous “cogito” — I think, therefore I am” — is profoundly mistaken, according to Damasio. Thinking is a late evolutionary development. Long before there was thought, there was feeling; and we are still primarily feeling organisms. The same mistaken idea underlies the currently fashionable view that mind is a software program embodied in a brain. Those cognitive scientists who talk in this way are unconsciously falling into dualism–something they would no doubt fervently deny if it were suggested to them!”

Book review by Anthony Campbell. Copyright ©; Anthony Campbell (1999), http://www.acampbell.ukfsn.org/bookreviews/r/damasio.html

Antonio Damasio, “DESCARTES’ ERROR – Emotion, reason, and the human brain”, Papermac, London 1994, ISBN 0 333 65656 3

Antonio Damasio Quote:

Even in the small world of brain science [in the 1860s], two camps were beginning to form. One held that psychological functions such as language or memory could never be traced to a particular region of the brain. If one had to accept, reluctantly, that the brain did produce the mind, it did so as a whole and not as a collection of parts with special functions. The other camp held that, on the contrary, the brain did have specialized parts and those parts generated separate mind functions. The rift between the two camps was not merely indicative of the infancy of brain research; the argument endured for another century and, to a certain extent, is still with us today.

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