Proust Was A Neuroscientist

Proust Was A Neuroscientist

Book - 2007
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In this technology-driven age, it's tempting to believe that science can solve every mystery. After all, science has cured countless diseases and even sent humans into space. But as Jonah Lehrer argues in this sparkling debut, science is not the only path to knowledge. In fact, when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first.
Taking a group of artists -- a painter, a poet, a chef, a composer, and a handful of novelists -- Lehrer shows how each one discovered an essential truth about the mind that science is only now rediscovering. We learn, for example, how Proust first revealed the fallibility of memory; how George Eliot discovered the brain's malleability; how the French chef Escoffier discovered umami (the fifth taste); how Cézanne worked out the subtleties of vision; and how Gertrude Stein exposed the deep structure of language -- a full half-century before the work of Noam Chomsky and other linguists. It's the ultimate tale of art trumping science.
More broadly, Lehrer shows that there is a cost to reducing everything to atoms and acronyms and genes. Measurement is not the same as understanding, and art knows this better than science does. An ingenious blend of biography, criticism, and first-rate science writing, Proust Was a Neuroscientist urges science and art to listen more closely to each other, for willing minds can combine the best of both, to brilliant effect.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007.
ISBN: 9780618620104
Branch Call Number: 700.105 L524
Characteristics: xii, 242 p. : ill.


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Sep 30, 2016

Good read, am going to buy a copy so I read it at leisure...highly recommended

Apr 01, 2013

You may need to re-read this book more than once and you should take it like playing video games because this book’s complexity can be as fun to break into as video games. This is because artists and intellectuals usually don’t make their points clear while scientists tend to be quite firm in their conclusions. Thus, Jonha Lehrer’s book is a link between these two groups and required a very profound and thoughtful work that requires the same habits when reading it. This is one of the books that help people find themselves and understand others better.

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