EPISODE # 221
Antonio Damasio — Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious
In recent decades, many philosophers and cognitive scientists have declared the problem of consciousness unsolvable, but Antonio Damasio is convinced that recent findings across multiple scientific disciplines have given us a way to understand consciousness and its significance for human life. In his latest work, Feeling & Knowing, Damasio helps us understand why being conscious is not the same as sensing, why nervous systems are essential for the development of feelings, and why feeling opens the way to consciousness writ large. He combines the latest discoveries in various sciences with philosophy and discusses his original research, which has transformed our understanding of the brain and human behavior.
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A NEW BOOK BY FRANK SULLOWAY
Darwin and His Bears — How Darwin Bear and His Galápagos Islands Friends Inspired a Scientific Revolution
Delightful and deeply informative, Darwin and His Bears by scientist and Darwin scholar Frank J. Sulloway imaginatively recounts the fabled adventure of Darwin’s first visit to “a shore fit for Pandemonium,” as Beagle Captain Robert FitzRoy described the Galápagos on their arrival in 1835. As Darwin marveled at swarms of “hideous-looking” marine iguanas, tame birds, giant land tortoises, lava, and spiny cactus, he asked himself: How had life first come to these harsh islands?
In Darwin and His Bears, Sulloway reveals a crucial — yet little known — link that led to Darwin’s development of the theory of evolution: sixteen brilliant little bears residing on the sixteen archipelago islands. As Sulloway brings to life the story of Darwin’s scientific triumph, he also reveals the critical conceptual steps by which Darwin reached his theory of evolution by natural selection.
“A brilliant summary and explanation of large swaths of evolutionary theory” (philosopher of science Philip Kitcher), Darwin and His Bears is a book for readers of all ages. Paleontologist Jack Horner, who was technical advisor for the Jurrasic Park films, has assigned the book in his college course on Darwin and evolution at Chapman University.
Ninety colorful drawings by the author introduce us to the whipsmart, magnanimous bears whose invaluable assistance helped Darwin to fully understand his evidence — and answer the heated scholarly debate that it met upon its completion — ultimately culminating in what we now celebrate as the Darwinian revolution.
Praise for the book
“The ultimate guide to take on a voyage of your own Beagle.”
“Highly original, and it deserves wide attention…”
About the Author
Frank J. Sulloway, PhD, is an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. His PhD is in the history of science from Harvard University (1978), and he is a MacArthur Fellow (1984). Dr. Sulloway has published extensively on the life and theories of Charles Darwin as well as on the evolution and ecology of Darwin’s iconic Galápagos finches. His book Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives (1996) was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He is also the author of Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend (1979), which received the Pfizer Award of the History of Science Society.