Filed under book | Tags: · brain, cognition, cognitive science, consciousness, ethics, knowledge, memory, mind, neural networks, neurophysiology, neuropsychology, neuroscience, perception, philosophy, thinking
Open Mind is an open access collection of 39 original research publications on the mind, brain, and consciousness.
The contributions were written by 92 junior and senior members of the MIND Group, including internationally renowned researchers working in various areas of philosophy, psychology, cognitive neuroscience and neuroethics. The collection commemorates the 20th meeting of the group.
Thomas Metzinger founded the MIND Group in 2003 to provide young German philosophers with a platform that would help them establish contacts in the international research community and participate in the latest developments in contemporary philosophy of mind. An ever-changing group of advanced undergraduate students, doctoral candidates, and young researchers from different countries meets twice a year in Frankfurt am Main.
Publisher MIND Group, Frankfurt am Main, January 2015
Eric R. Kandel: The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present (2012)
Filed under book | Tags: · art, art history, biology, brain, cognition, emotion, expressionism, mind, neuroaesthetics, neuroscience, perception, psychiatry, science, unconscious, vienna
“A book by Nobel Prize winner Eric R. Kandel, The Age of Insight takes us to Vienna 1900, where leaders in science, medicine, and art began a revolution that changed forever how we think about the human mind—our conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions—and how mind and brain relate to art.
At the turn of the century, Vienna was the cultural capital of Europe. Artists and scientists met in glittering salons, where they freely exchanged ideas that led to revolutionary breakthroughs in psychology, brain science, literature, and art. Kandel takes us into the world of Vienna to trace, in rich and rewarding detail, the ideas and advances made then, and their enduring influence today.
The Vienna School of Medicine led the way with its realization that truth lies hidden beneath the surface. That principle infused Viennese culture and strongly influenced the other pioneers of Vienna 1900. Sigmund Freud shocked the world with his insights into how our everyday unconscious aggressive and erotic desires are repressed and disguised in symbols, dreams, and behavior. Arthur Schnitzler revealed women’s unconscious sexuality in his novels through his innovative use of the interior monologue. Gustav Klimt, Oscar Kokoschka, and Egon Schiele created startlingly evocative and honest portraits that expressed unconscious lust, desire, anxiety, and the fear of death.
Kandel tells the story of how these pioneers—Freud, Schnitzler, Klimt, Kokoschka, and Schiele—inspired by the Vienna School of Medicine, in turn influenced the founders of the Vienna School of Art History to ask pivotal questions such as What does the viewer bring to a work of art? How does the beholder respond to it? These questions prompted new and ongoing discoveries in psychology and brain biology, leading to revelations about how we see and perceive, how we think and feel, and how we respond to and create works of art. Kandel, one of the leading scientific thinkers of our time, places these five innovators in the context of today’s cutting-edge science and gives us a new understanding of the modernist art of Klimt, Kokoschka, and Schiele, as well as the school of thought of Freud and Schnitzler. Reinvigorating the intellectual enquiry that began in Vienna 1900, The Age of Insight is a wonderfully written, superbly researched, and beautifully illustrated book that also provides a foundation for future work in neuroscience and the humanities. It is an extraordinary book from an international leader in neuroscience and intellectual history.”
Publisher Random House, 2012
ISBN 1588369307, 9781588369307
Interview with the author (NPR)
Review (Alexander C. Kafka, The Chronicle Review)
Review (Roxanne Powell, The Vienna Review)
Review (Briefly Noted, The New York Times)
Review (Peter F. Buckley, The American Journal of Psychiatry)
Review (Jonah Lehrer, Wired)
Filed under book | Tags: · 1800s, biography, empiricism, enlightenment, history of science, music, neurophysiology, neuroscience, physiology, psychology, science, vision
“Although Hermann von Helmholtz was one of most remarkable figures of nineteenth-century science, he is little known outside his native Germany. Helmholtz (1821-1894) made significant contributions to the study of vision and perception and was also influential in the painting, music, and literature of the time; one of his major works analyzed tone in music. This book, the first in English to describe Helmholtz’s life and work in detail, describes his scientific studies, analyzes them in the context of the science and philosophy of the period—in particular the German Naturphilosophie—and gauges his influence on today’s neuroscience.
Helmholtz, trained by Johannes Müller, one of the best physiologists of his time, used a resolutely materialistic and empirical scientific method in his research. This puts him in the tradition of Kant and the English empirical philosophers and directly opposed to the idealists and naturalists who interpreted nature based on metaphysical presuppositions. Helmholtz’s research on color vision put him at odds with Goethe’s more romantic theorizing on the subject; but at the end of his life, Helmholtz honored Goethe’s contributions, acknowledging that artistic intuition could reveal truths about the human mind that are inaccessible to science.
Helmholtz’s work, eclipsed at the beginning of the twentieth century by new ideas in neurophysiology, has recently been rediscovered. We can now recognize in Helmholtz’s methods–which were based on his belief in the interconnectedness of physiology and psychology–the origins of neuroscience.”
Originally published as Helmholtz: Des lumières aux neurosciences, Odile Jacob, Paris, 2001
Translated and edited by Laurence Garey
Publisher MIT Press, 2010
ISBN 0262014483, 9780262014489